Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline LLC Monday asked FERC for authorization to start up its Phase IV expansion by Jan. 15. The project, which doubles the capacity of its existing pipeline, will support service from the Canaport liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminal that is scheduled to be fully operational in the first quarter.

The $320 million Maritimes expansion would provide the Canaport LNG terminal with access to U.S. northeastern gas markets by bolstering mainline capacity by approximately 418,000 Dth/d to nearly 800 MMcf/d, said Maritimes, which is owned by Duke Energy, Emera Inc. and ExxonMobil Corp. Canaport is jointly sponsored by Irving Oil and Repsol YPF in Saint John, NB (see Daily GPI, Dec. 12, 2006).

Emera, which has a 12.92% stake in Maritimes, is nearing completion of a 90-mile, 30-inch diameter pipeline lateral from the LNG terminal through southwestern New Brunswick to a connection with the U.S. portion of Maritimes at the international border near Baileyville, ME.

The $350 million Brunswick pipeline, which is due to be completed this month, will be capable of carrying 850 MMcf/d of regasified LNG and its capacity can be expanded with added compression. The lateral was approved by the National Energy Board in June 2007, and it began construction in November of that year (see Daily GPI, June 4, 2007). Emera has negotiated a 25-year send-or-pay toll agreement with Repsol to transport gas through the Brunswick pipeline.

Canaport LNG will be the first onshore LNG regasification terminal constructed on the Atlantic coast in decades and will be a major development for energy consumers from New Brunswick to Maine, and New Hampshire to Massachusetts (see Daily GPI, Sept. 8, 2008).

The Maritimes’ Phase IV project consists of five new compressor stations in the towns of Eliot, Westbrook, Searsmont, Brewer and Woodchopping Ridge in Maine; approximately 1.7 miles of 30-inch diameter pipeline loop adjacent to Maritimes’ existing right-of-way from the United States-Canada border to its Baileyville compressor station; and two new meter stations in Maine [CP05-335, CP96, 810].

Maritimes is already moving forward with plans for a Phase V expansion of its system. The project would increase the capacity of the U.S. portion of its pipeline system to transport new gas supplies from EnCana Corp.’s planned Deep Panuke project, located off the coast of Nova Scotia, to markets in Atlantic Canada and the Northeast United States.

Following a successful open season for its Phase V Project in late 2007 (see Daily GPI, Dec. 28, 2007), Maritimes executed a commercial agreement with a subsidiary of EnCana to transport up to 170,000 Dth/d year-round and an additional 30,000 Dth/d during the winter.

Phase V would further increase the capacity of the approximately 330-mile U.S. portion of the Maritimes system through the installation of additional compression at existing stations and a short length of pipeline loop within an existing corridor. Maritimes said it expects to place the approximately $240 million project in service in November 2010.

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