News Release
Nov. 29, 2001

MARITIMES PHASE III AND ALGONQUIN HUBLINE NATURAL GAS PROJECTS RECEIVE POSITIVE FINAL ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT REPORT

BOSTON -- The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) recently issued a positive final environmental impact statement (FEIS) to Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline Phase III and Algonquin Gas Transmission HubLine natural gas pipeline projects. The complementary projects are designed to interconnect the Maritimes and Algonquin transmission systems.

The projects will transport significant volumes of natural gas to energy markets in the northeastern United States, where the demand for natural gas is increasing faster than other areas of the United States.  

The high pressure and flexibility, as well as the downstream transportation options that these projects offer, will enhance the region’s energy flexibility and security. In particular, the Phase III and HubLine pipelines will provide high-pressure, natural gas deliveries for new electric generating facilities and other customers in eastern Massachusetts.

“We remain committed to developing a pipeline infrastructure that provides an economical and reliable natural gas transportation system for the Northeast -- and interconnecting Maritimes with 

Algonquin will do just that,” said Tom O’Connor, president of M&N Management Co., the managing member of Maritimes. “This positive FEIS moves both projects closer to receiving final federal approval by year’s end and closer to meeting the needs of energy consumers in the region.” 

In the FEIS, FERC staff concluded that both projects could be built with minimal adverse impact to the environment. The determination was based upon a thorough environmental review of the projects by FERC staff as well as input from federal, state and municipal agencies, landowners, and other stakeholders. FERC held several public meetings during the past year to solicit comments on the projects.  

“We greatly appreciate FERC staff’s timely issuance of the FEIS,” O’Connor said. “Both Maritimes and Algonquin worked closely with stakeholders and agencies to address issues raised during the environmental review process. The completion of the FEIS sets the stage for the timely issuance of other federal and state permits. The projects will be constructed in a safe and environmentally sensitive manner. We also will continue to confer with federal and state environmental agencies to ensure their standards are met.”

The Maritimes Phase III project includes construction of approximately 25 miles of 30-inch, onshore pipe from Methuen to BeverlyMass. The Algonquin HubLine project includes 30 miles of 24-inch, offshore pipe from Beverly to Weymouth, Mass., and approximately five miles of 16-inch, offshore lateral pipe to Deer IslandMass.

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.

Contact: Marylee Hanley (Maritimes)
Phone: 617/560-1573
24 Hour Phone: 704/382-8333
Email: mhanley@duke-energy.com
Contact: John Sheridan (HubLine)
Phone: 617/560-1444
24 Hour Phone: 704/382-8333
Email: jpsheridan@duke-energy.com