Millennium Pipeline yesterday joined a growing crowd of pipelineexpansions and projects that are being delayed until 2000. Thecompany informed the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission of therevised project schedule, which calls for some portions of the442-mile pipeline to be constructed in 1999, the balance beingbuilt the following year and service by November 2000. IndependencePipeline, a Millennium competitor, announced a similar delayearlier this year, and Alliance Pipeline said it too was forced toput off transportation services until winter 2000.

“Our shippers have indicated that a Nov. 1, 2000 in-service datewill meet their objectives to provide economically priced suppliesof natural gas to customers in the East,” said Millennium ProjectManager David Pentzien. “The schedule also provides flexibility forMillennium to schedule construction activities during optimalperiods from summer 1999 through fall of 2000.”

A spokesman indicated Millennium’s nine shippers, who are mainlypipeline affiliated marketers (Engage, TransCanada and Columbia arethe largest capacity holders) requested the delay in part to givethe market more time to develop and to give upstream supplyproviders more time to prepare. Millennium plans to file revisedshipper agreements soon with FERC.

The pipeline company, a partnership of Columbia Gas, TransCanadaPipeLines, MCN Energy and Westcoast Energy, originally requested apreliminary determination on non-environmental grounds (PD) on theproject from FERC by May. But a spokesman said FERC’s delay on thePD played no role in this decision. The pipeline company now isrequesting a PD by September with final FERC approval by April 30,1999.

The $650 million pipeline project is designed to transport 700MMcf/d of gas from a connection with TransCanada PipeLines in themiddle of Lake Erie to a connection with Consolidated Edison inWestchester County, NY. Nearly 90% of its route is to be built inexisting rights of way.

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