Transportation news briefs, July 3

Comision Reguladora de Energia � Tractebel � Caspian Pipeline Consortium � Calpine � Midcoast Energy Resources � Fortum � Sumitomo Heavy Industries

Comision Reguladora de Energia, Mexico City, reported it has awarded Belgium's Tractebel a 12-year exclusive permit to develop the Guadalajara natural gas distribution system. The company will invest $83.6 million to develop the system, including procurement of 97 km of existing distribution assets, for which Tractebel will pay $8.13 million. Estimated development time for the system is 5 years. By then, the system will serve the Mexican municipalities of Guadalajara, Zapopan, and Tonala, distributing 257.8 MMcfd of gas mostly for use in industry or cogeneration. The pipeline system will span 2,186 km and serve more than 180,000 customers. Other participants in the bidding process included Gas Natural Mexico (Spain) and Gaz de France and Mexique Investissements (France).

The Caspian Pipeline Consortium (CPC) awarded two more contracts worth $1.1 million combined to IDS Engineering Inc., a subsidiary of Industrial Data Systems Corp., Houston. Under the contracts, IDS Engineering will supply and integrate programmable control hardware for CPC's Tengiz and Astrakhan pump stations. All equipment covered by these agreements is expected to ship prior to yearend. Under a previously announced contract, IDS Engineering has been involved in the design and programming of control equipment for CPC's five pump stations. The CPC was established in 1997 to construct a crude oil pipeline connecting the oil fields in western Kazakhstan with a new terminal located on Russia's Black Sea coastline.

Calpine Corp. inked an agreement with Midcoast Energy Resources Inc. for Midcoast to provide up to 276 MMcfd in gas transportation services for 20 years. Under the agreement, Midcoast will provide 138 MMcfd of firm transportation services to two of Calpine's recently announced cogeneration plants near Decatur, Ala.: the Decatur Energy Center, a 700-Mw plant to be build at a Solutia Inc. chemical facility, and the Morgan Energy Center, a 660-Mw plant to be built at a BP Amoco PLC chemical facility. Midcoast will construct a 52-mile pipeline near its existing Midcoast interstate transmission system. The design and capacity of the line will be determined by Calpine and third party demand. This project could result in up to 400 MMcfd of new natural gas transportation capacity into the industrial Tennessee River valley region. Deliveries are anticipated to begin by the summer of 2002.

Fortum Corp. of Finland has let long-term bareboat contracts for two ice-breaking 106,000 dw-tonne crude carriers. The Japanese company Sumitomo Heavy Industries will complete the construction of the double-hulled vessels in summer 2002. It is expected the new crude carriers will fly the Finnish flag and replace existing carriers. The ships will be used in the Baltic Sea and North Sea, Fortum said, and added the ice-breaking capabilities of the vessels should allow them to be used year-round.

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