News Release
Jan. 31, 2000

MARITIMES & NORTHEAST, BANGOR GAS EXECUTE AGREEMENT TO BRING NATURAL GAS TO EASTERN MAINE

BOSTON – Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline, L.L.C. (Maritimes) announced that it has signed an agreement with Bangor Gas Co. to transport up to 85,000 decatherms per day of natural gas from the Maritimes facilities to Bangor Gas’ proposed distribution facilities in Veazie, Maine, and Bucksport, Maine.

Bangor Gas is developing a local distribution system to provide natural gas to residential, commercial and industrial customers in the greater Bangor area. In addition, Bangor Gas is constructing a lateral pipeline to fuel Bucksport Energy’s gas turbine at the Champion International paper mill.

"With these two interconnects with Maritimes, Bangor Gas will have the ability to provide six eastern Maine communities with access to natural gas for the first time," said Tom O’Connor, president of M & N Management Co., managing member of Maritimes. "Maritimes will continue to expand its pipeline infrastructure to supply other areas of the state with this efficient and clean-burning fuel."

The Maritimes pipeline was placed into service on Dec. 1, 1999. More than 3,000 people, including more than 1,500 Maine residents, helped build the 205-mile stretch of pipeline from Westbrook, Maine to Baileyville, Maine. Maritimes and its contractors spent approximately $50 million in Maine using the services of close to 800 Maine businesses for clearing, trucking, surveying and general construction work while Maine merchants or vendors supplied lodging, construction materials, equipment rentals, fuel and other necessary goods.

"Bangor Gas has been working closely with Maritimes to bring natural gas to eastern Maine. We are looking forward to providing our customers with additional energy options and expect to be in-service in the Bangor area and in Bucksport later this year," said Joseph Rivera, vice president of operations for Bangor Gas. "The availability of natural gas will provide many economic and environmental benefits for the region."

Maritimes is owned by affiliates of Duke Energy Corporation (37.5 percent), Westcoast Energy, Inc. (37.5 percent), Exxon Mobil Corporation (12.5 percent) and NS Power Holdings Inc. (12.5 percent).

Bangor Gas is a joint venture of Bangor Hydro-Electric Co. and San Diego-based Sempra Energy International, which develops, operates and owns energy projects. Bangor Hydro is the second largest electric utility in Maine, serving a population of 192,000 in eastern and east coastal Maine. Sempra Energy International is a subsidiary of Sempra Energy (NYSE: SRE), a Fortune 500 energy services holding company based in San Diego, with 12,000 employees, revenues of $5.5 billion and more than 9 million customers in the United States, Europe, Canada, Mexico and South America.

Contact: John Sheridan
Phone: 617-560-1444
24 Hour Phone: 704-382-8333
Email: jpsheridan@duke-energy.com
Contact: Denise King
Phone: 877-866-2066
24 Hour Phone: 704-382-8333
Email: media_relations@duke-energy.com