News Release
Oct. 12, 2000

MARITIMES ANNOUNCES PHASE III FILING

BOSTON – Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline, L.L.C. filed an application seeking Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) approval to construct Phase III of the natural gas pipeline project on Oct. 10. The expansion would extend the existing Maritimes system in Methuen, Mass., to Beverly, Mass., where it would interconnect with Algonquin Gas Transmission Co.’s proposed HubLine project.

Maritimes transports natural gas produced by Sable Offshore Energy, Inc., off the coast of Nova Scotia, Canada, to markets in the northeastern United States. Demand for natural gas has significantly increased in recent years as new gas-fired electric generating plants are built and as industrial and residential facilities switch from other fuels. Expanding the Maritimes pipeline will allow much needed supplies of natural gas from eastern Canada to reach new energy markets in New England.

"Access to new supplies of natural gas is essential to keep pace with the growing market," said Tom O’Connor, president of M & N Management Co., managing member of Maritimes.

"Maritimes’ expansion will provide greater energy security and reliability for all consumers in the northeast. Additionally, as gas-fired electric generating plants are built, electricity will be produced more efficiently and cleanly."

The new power plants are expected to substantially reduce air emissions. When burned, natural gas releases virtually no atmospheric emissions of sulfur dioxide or small particulate matter and produces far less nitrogen oxide and carbon dioxide than other fuels. As more gas-fired plants are placed into service, emission rates for the region are expected to decrease helping New England states meet stringent federal air quality standards.

Maritimes has conducted an extensive prefiling consultation process over the past year with landowners, environmental organizations and public officials.

FERC, along with several other agencies, will thoroughly review the Phase III application to ensure compliance with federal and state regulations.

"Our objective is to construct this pipeline in a safe and environmentally responsible manner while minimizing impacts to landowners, municipalities and the environment," O’Connor said. "During construction of the existing Maritimes pipeline, the company established a reputation for working with its neighbors and other stakeholders. We will continue to operate in that fashion on this expansion. Throughout the FERC process, we will continue to gather information from people interested in the project and refine the proposed route."

Maritimes has been praised by Maine Gov. Angus S. King Jr. as well as the commissioner of the Department of Environmental Protection and other state officials for its recently completed Phase II pipeline project.

Algonquin filed an application with FERC to construct the HubLine project offshore from the terminus of Phase III to its existing facilities in Weymouth, Mass. on Oct. 10.

Maritimes & Northeast, a 650-mile natural gas pipeline traversing Atlantic Canada and the northeastern United States, is owned by affiliates of Duke Energy (37.5 percent), Westcoast Energy Inc. (37.5 percent), ExxonMobil (12.5 percent) and NS Power Holdings Inc. (12.5 percent). For more information, contact Maritimes on the Internet at www.mnp-usa.com.

Duke Energy, a diversified multinational energy company, creates value for customers and shareholders through an integrated network of energy assets and expertise. Duke Energy manages a dynamic portfolio of natural gas and electric supply, delivery and trading businesses --- generating revenues of nearly $22 billion in 1999. Duke Energy, headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., is a Fortune 100 company traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol DUK. More information about the company is available on the Internet at: www.duke-energy.com.

Contact: John P. Sheridan
Phone: 617/560-1444
24 Hour Phone: 704/382-8333
Email: jpsheridan@duke-energy.com