Algonquin, M&NP file pipeline applications

Algonquin Gas Transmission and Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline filed applications with FERC seeking approval for their respective pipeline expansion projects. The two proposed lines will tie-in together.

Algonquin Gas Transmission Co., a Boston-based unit of Duke Energy Gas Transmission, applied Oct. 10 for Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) approval to construct the HubLine project, an offshore natural gas pipeline extending from Beverly, Mass., to Weymouth, Mass.

Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline LLC, Boston, Mass., also applied for FERC approval of the third phase of its 650-mile Maritimes & Northeast natural gas pipeline project. The expansion would extend the existing Maritimes system in Methuen, Mass., to Beverly, Mass., where it would interconnect with Algonquin Gas Transmission's proposed HubLine project. The interconnect will allow gas produced off eastern Canada by Sable Island Energy Inc. to be transported to New England and the US Northeast.

HubLine, an expansion of Algonquin's system, is designed to meet the needs of the rapidly growing northeast energy market, Algonquin said.

"Delivering reserves from the newly developed eastern Canada region into the eastern end of the Algonquin system near Boston will provide the region with greater energy reliability and security as well as increased supply competition," said Robert Evans, president of Duke Energy Gas Transmission.

The HubLine project involves construction of 30 miles of 24-in. mainline pipeline primarily offshore between Beverly and Weymouth along with ancillary facilities onshore. Additionally, a 5-mile, 16-in. lateral pipeline is proposed to Deer Island in Boston Harbor.

"The proposed route was selected to minimize impacts to the environment, landowners, and the greater Boston community," Evans said.

The northeastern US surge in gas demand, particularly for gas-fired power generation facilities for industrial and consumer use in New England, was also the impetus for the Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline. M&NP transports natural gas produced by Sable Offshore Energy Inc. off eastern Canada to markets in the northeastern United States.

"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., a 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."

Maritimes has conducted an extensive pre-filing consultation process over the past year with landowners, environmental organizations and public officials. FERC, along with several other agencies, will review the Phase III application to ensure compliance with federal and state regulations.

Affiliates of Duke Energy hold a 37.5% interest in the M&NP system. Other partners include Westcoast Energy Inc. with 37.5%, ExxonMobil Corp., 12.5%, and NS Power Holdings Inc., 12.5%.

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