In preparation for a filing to FERC this fall, Guardian Pipeline, LLC is holding a series of four open houses this week along the proposed route for its 110-mile, $220-240 million extension of an existing Illinois-Wisconsin line to the Green Bay, WI, area. The meetings started Monday in Green Bay and end Thursday in Whitewater.

Selected as the winning bidder to build the proposed pipeline by WPS Resources’ Wisconsin Public Service Corp., Guardian operates the existing natural gas pipeline from Joliet, IL, to Ixonia, WI, which is 98% subscribed, according to Guardian. Wisconsin has increased its overall natural gas consumption 25% in the past 15 years. Thus, Wisconsin Public Service seeks added gas pipeline transmission capacity in the state to assure adequate supplies beyond 2008.

New compression in northern Illinois and in Wisconsin will be part of the project as well as the new 110-mile link from Ixonia to Green Bay. Each open house will allow stakeholders to obtain information and provide feedback on the project, which Guardian said could be altered based on feedback from local landowners, government officials and the general public.

Guardian said it hopes to get an approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) by the end of next year, and start construction of the project in 2008.

In a state where residential natural gas use jumped 19% between 1990 and 2004 and commercial/industrial use increased almost 43% over the same period, Guardian said its meetings with stakeholders are “part of the continuing effort to involve stakeholders in the route selection process and other aspects of the project.” Similar meetings were held locally in April and June.

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