News Release
April 15, 1999

MARITIMES & NORTHEAST PIPELINE RECEIVES FINAL FEDERAL APPROVAL TO BUILD PHASE II

Boston -- Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline, L.L.C. (Maritimes) yesterday received final approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to build Phase II of the natural gas pipeline project. In a unanimous vote, the FERC issued an Order giving authorization for the project to begin full construction. The Order completely approved Maritimes’ January 22 certificate amendment application.

Phase II of the project, 200 miles of 24-inch and 30-inch diameter pipeline, extends from Baileyville, Maine to Westbrook, Maine. Initial construction began with the successful drilling of the Androscoggin River in late March. Drilling is currently underway on the Penobscot, Kennebec and Saint Croix rivers. In addition, agreements with landowners have been reached on approximately 90% of the pipeline route.

"With final approval in hand, we will begin construction of the mainline in the next few weeks. We are appreciative of the diligence of the FERC in timely processing this amendment and the broad support that we have received from the many stakeholders," said Tom O’Connor, president of M&N Management Company, managing member of Maritimes. "We continue to move forward and remain on schedule to meet our in-service date of November 1, 1999."

The Order also gives Maritimes approval to build laterals to two gas-fired electric generating plants, the Maine Independence Station currently under construction in Veazie, Maine and the Gorham Energy Limited Partnership’s plant proposed to be built in Gorham, Maine.

Maritimes is owned by affiliates of Duke Energy Corporation (37.5%), Westcoast Energy Inc. (37.5%), Mobil Corporation (12.5%) and Nova Scotia Power Inc. (12.5%). Duke Energy, through its affiliates, is responsible for the overall development of the $1.2 billion Maritimes project and directly responsible for the U.S. portion of the project. Westcoast Energy Inc., a major energy company located in Vancouver, British Columbia, is responsible for the development of the Canadian pipeline portion of the project. Contact Maritimes on the World Wide Web at www.mnp-usa.com.

Duke Energy (NYSE:DUK) is a global energy company with more than $26 billion in assets. Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., the company reaches into more than 50 countries, producing energy, transporting energy, marketing energy and providing energy services. In the United States, Duke Energy companies provide electric service to approximately two million customers in North Carolina and South Carolina; operate interstate pipelines that deliver natural gas to various regions of the country; and are leading marketers of electricity, natural gas and natural gas liquids. Additional information about the company is available on the Internet at: www.duke-energy.com.

Contact: Brian Prenda
Phone: (617) 560-1450
24 Hour Phone: (704) 382-8333
Email: media_realtions@duke-energy.com