News Release
May 01, 2001

MARITIMES PHASE III AND ALGONQUIN HUBLINE RECEIVE PRELIMINARY REGULATORY APPROVAL

BOSTON – Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline, L.L.C. (Maritimes) and Algonquin Gas Transmission Co. (Algonquin) announced recently that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has issued positive preliminary determinations on the Maritimes Phase III and Algonquin Hubline projects.

These natural gas pipeline projects will significantly enhance natural gas transmission reliability and flexibility to customers in the Northeast and FERC found, subject to several conditions, that the public convenience and necessity requires the construction and operation of these new natural gas pipeline facilities in eastern Massachusetts. In its review of non-environmental issues, FERC concluded that the record demonstrates a need for both projects, that the rates are appropriate and that the benefits of the project will outweigh any potential adverse impacts. Final approval and issuance of the certificates to construct and operate the facilities is dependent on favorable environmental reviews by FERC.

Maritimes and its Canadian affiliate transport natural gas from the Sable project located off the coast of Nova Scotia, Canada, to energy markets in Atlantic Canada and the northeastern United States. Algonquin operates more than 1,000 miles of interstate pipeline system serving customers in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

"Issuance of these preliminary determinations is a big step in the development of this much needed infrastructure," said Tom O’Connor, president of M&N Management Co., the managing member of Maritimes. "The commission’s timely response to these applications and the favorable preliminary determinations are important indicators that the Northeast’s appetite for natural gas can be met with carefully conceived, appropriately developed pipeline projects."

In the Northeast, demand for natural gas is increasing, due to both the new, efficient, gas-fired power plants recently completed and continued growth in residential and industrial consumption.

"The efficient linkage of Maritimes with the Algonquin system is a significant enhancement to energy security, reliability and flexibility in the region," O’Connor said. "We are committed to responding to market demand with innovation, resources and capital. The Hubline and Maritimes’ Phase III initiatives are proof of that continuing commitment."

Maritimes’ proposed Phase III project entails constructing approximately 24 miles of 30-inch diameter pipeline and approximately one mile of 24-inch diameter pipeline extending from Methuen, Mass., to an interconnection with the proposed Hubline facility in Beverly, Mass. In addition, Maritimes is seeking approval for meter stations and other appurtenant facilities.

Algonquin’s proposed Hubline project is approximately 30 miles of 24-inch diameter mainline interconnecting with Phase III in Beverly. It crosses underwater portions of Beverly Harbor, Salem Sound, Massachusetts Bay, Boston Harbor, Quincy Bay and Hingham Bay to an onshore interconnection with Algonquin’s existing facilities in Weymouth, Mass. Algonquin is also seeking to construct and operate a lateral to the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority wastewater treatment facility on Deer Island as well as meter stations and other appurtenances.

Maritimes is owned by affiliates of Duke Energy (37.5 percent); Westcoast Energy, Inc. (37.5 percent); ExxonMobil (12.5 percent); and Emera Inc. (12.5 percent). Algonquin is a wholly owned subsidiary of Duke Energy. For more information, contact Maritimes on the Internet at www.mnp-usa.com and Duke at www.duke-energy.com.

 

Contact: John Sheridan
Phone: 617/560-1444
24 Hour Phone: 704/382-8341
Email: jpsheridan@duke-energy.com