News Release
June 27, 2002

DUKE ENERGY'S EAST TENNESSEE NATURAL GAS UNIT FILES TO AMEND PATRIOT PROJECT APPLICATION

Construction Reduced By Combination of Projects

HOUSTON – Duke Energy’s East Tennessee Natural Gas Co. (ETNG) has filed an amendment with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) seeking permission to incorporate into the company’s existing Patriot project application certain previously authorized natural gas transmission facilities related to a cancelled power generation plant.

 

The amendment will eliminate several miles of pipeline construction and reduce related compression horsepower installation. No new facilities are being proposed in the amendment. FERC previously completed its environmental analysis of these facilities now incorporated into the Patriot project.

 

“There is significant market demand for the Patriot project due to the higher-than-average demand for natural gas in the southeast United States,” said Robert B. Evans, president and chief executive officer of Duke Energy Gas Transmission (DEGT). “While incorporating these modest facility adjustments into the Patriot project, we continue to work with landowners, other stakeholders and with FERC through the regulatory process to address siting concerns and achieve the initial May 1, 2003, in-service date for our customers.”

 

The $289 million Patriot project is designed to expand the ETNG system in Tennessee and Virginia, and extend it via the Patriot Extension, a proposed 94-mile pipeline that would grow the ETNG system into southwest Virginia and northern North Carolina.

 

ETNG is a unit of DEGT, the Houston-based division of Duke Energy responsible for the company’s North American natural gas pipeline operations. ETNG filed the Patriot project application last July and received a preliminary determination in March from FERC that confirmed the Patriot project is needed to meet the energy needs of the growing southeast United States.

 

Research for Duke Energy by recognized economists indicates that the Patriot project will result in economic benefits to the region both during and after construction. A recent series of five vendor opportunity fairs co-sponsored by Duke Energy, pipeline general contractor Murphy Brothers and local chambers of commerce in counties along the extension route attracted 174 local businesses interested in supplying goods and services during construction of the pipeline.

 

According to the PriceWaterhouseCoopers report commissioned by Duke Energy, the pipeline will have an $11 million economic impact within three of the counties the extension crosses during construction and could potentially reach $19 million annually after construction.

 

FERC issued a Draft Environmental Impact Statement in April and is currently assessing public comments prior to issuing a Final Environmental Impact Statement. ETNG is requesting a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity from FERC in September to meet the May 2003 in-service date. More information on the project can be found at www.patriotextension.com.

 

Duke Energy Gas Transmission is a North American leader in developing energy infrastructure and connecting major natural gas supply basins to growing markets. The company’s natural gas operations include more than 18,900 miles of interstate transmission pipeline and 240 billion cubic feet of storage capacity in Canada and the United States. More information about DEGT is available on the Internet at www.degt.duke-energy.com.

 

Duke Energy is a diversified multinational energy company with an integrated network of energy assets and expertise. The company manages a dynamic portfolio of natural gas and electric supply, delivery and trading businesses – meeting the energy needs of customers throughout North America and in key markets around the world. 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: Gretchen Krueger
Phone: 713/627-4072
24 Hour Phone: 704/382-8333
Email: gdkrueger@duke-energy.com