TransCanada PipeLines Ltd. and Nicor Inc. yesterday took thefirst formal step towards making the substantially altered VikingVoyageur pipeline project a reality by scheduling an open seasonfor capacity.

The two sponsors announced the open season for the project, nowdubbed simply “Voyageur,” will begin on Aug. 17th and will extendthrough Sept. 11th. Bidding will be “wide open” for the entirecapacity (1.05 Bcf/d) on the 140-150 mile pipeline, which still isin the planning stages, that would begin at the Joliet/Chicago Huband would flow northward, terminating just southwest of Milwaukee,WI (See NGI 8/10/98). The aim of the new project is to providecompetitive pipeline services to LDC customers in northern Illinoisand southern Wisconsin – two markets that the sponsors claim havebeen continually held captive to a single pipeline, ANR Pipeline.

TransCanada and Nicor said they expect to file an application,which would be based on the “old Viking Voyageur concept,” at FERCeither in mid-September or mid-October. They plan to seekpermission to build just the southern leg of the original VikingVoyageur project (from the Joliet/Chicago Hub to southernWisconsin), foregoing – at least for now – the northern half (fromsouthern Wisconsin to the Minnesota-Canadian border). They proposeDecember 2000 as the in-service date for the project.

Last April, the sponsors decided against building the originallyproposed 773-mile Viking Voyageur Pipeline, which would haveextended from the Canadian border to the Chicago hub, due to a lackof shipper commitments.

Since then there has been a new proposal for an IllinoisWisconsin Express sponsored by a coalition of El Paso Energy,Enron, Peoples Energy and and Northern Border Pipeline to alsobuild a 650 MMcf/d line over a nearly identical route from Jolietto near Milwaukee.

For information on the Voyageur open season, contact ChrisFinch, project coordinator at Nicor, at P.O. Box 3014, Naperville,IL 60566-7014. His telephone number is (630) 983-8676 (ext. 2417);fax is (630) 983-4583; and e-mail is

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