Duke Energy Gas Transmission plans pipeline extension

Duke Energy Gas Transmission, a unit of Duke Energy Corp., said Tuesday it planned to expand its East Tennessee Natural Gas system by building a 95-mile extension from Virginia into North Carolina. DEGT said the line, dubbed the Patriot extension, will transport natural gas from producers in the Appalachian region and from the Gulf Coast. It also will provide gas to portions of southwest Virginia for the first time, said the company.


Duke Energy Gas Transmission, a unit of Duke Energy Corp., said Tuesday it planned to expand its East Tennessee Natural Gas system by building a 95-mile extension from Virginia into North Carolina. DEGT said the line, dubbed the Patriot extension, will transport natural gas from producers in the Appalachian region and from the Gulf Coast. It also will provide gas to portions of southwest Virginia for the first time, said the company.

Patriot will begin from the East Tennessee system in Wythe County, Va., cross Carroll, Patrick, and Henry counties in Virginia, and end in Rockingham County, NC, by connecting with a Transco pipeline.

DEGT will conduct shipper meetings over the next 2 months and conclude with a binding open season for capacity in the extension. The company expects to file with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission by the end of the first quarter, 2001.

"The 24-in. diameter pipeline will be coupled with East Tennessee system mainline enhancements to initially transport 200 MMcfd of gas beginning in fall 2002. The pipeline extension is expandable, in increments, to 600 MMcfd," said a statement.

DEGT is building new relationships with storage providers and local producers who will provide significantly increased natural gas supplies into the East Tennessee system from the Appalachian area, said DEGT Pres. Robert B. Evans.

�While most of the Appalachian production has traditionally gone to the Northeast, local producers are now seeing value in the southeast market and are planning infrastructure additions accordingly,� Evans said. �This enhanced supply and extended market reach strategy was contemplated when we purchased East Tennessee less than a year ago."

DEGT said demand in the region is growing by 4% a year. The growth rate is driven by gas-fired electric generation, said the company, which described the extension as the centerpiece of a $215 million project.

As part of its new initiative, East Tennessee also plans a mainline expansion between the Patriot Extension and Texas Eastern Transmission Corp., a pipeline system also owned by DEGT.

�This initiative will result in a 30-percent increase in East Tennessee�s peak-day delivery capability by 2002,� Evans said.

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