The Quoddy Tides

Eastport, Maine

26 May 2006

Maritimes files LNG pipeline expansion proposal with FERC

by Edward French

Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline is proposing to add five compressor stations and approximately 1.7 miles of 30-inch pipe to its natural gas pipeline in Maine for the proposed Canaport liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminal in Saint John. Maritimes & Northeast filed an application for the pipeline expansion with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on May 16.

Although Maritimes & Northeast had also signed an agreement with Anadarko LNG Marketing LLC to transport natural gas from the proposed Bear Head LNG terminal near Point Tupper, N.S., the timetable for the project has now changed, according to Marylee Hanley, spokesperson for Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline. However, she stresses, "The pipeline is readily expandable." Additional capacity would be made available if other LNG projects are approved, she notes. "We welcome any future projects." Whether another expansion project would be necessary is "speculation" at this point, she says, since it would depend on the volume being transported. Three LNG projects have been proposed for Passamaquoddy Bay, and another is proposed for Cutler.

In November the company hosted an open house in Baileyville to discuss the proposal. The proposed Phase IV project would increase Maritimes' capacity by approximately 418,000 dekatherms per day through a combination of the addition of five compressor stations in Maine, approximately 1.7 miles of 30-inch pipeline in Maine and modifications to existing U.S. facilities. The compressor stations would be in Eliot, Westbrook, Searsmont, Brewer and Woodchopping Ridge. Construction of the proposed expansion facilities is anticipated to begin in June 2007, with an expected in-service date of November 1, 2008.

With the expansion, the pipeline would transport natural gas from the proposed Canaport LNG import terminal in Saint John to markets in Atlantic Canada and the northeastern United States. Canaport LNG is a joint venture of Repsol YPF and Irving Oil Limited. Repsol YPF has executed an agreement with Maritimes to transport re-gasified LNG in the United States on its existing pipeline system.

"The Canaport LNG re-gasification terminal in Saint John offers a new reliable source of natural gas and increases energy supply diversity and security for the region. This new supply source will help minimize the impact on consumers of disruptions brought on by events like last year's hurricanes," said Doug Bloom, president, Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline, in a prepared release. "We have been a full partner in developing the transportation system to link this new supply to energy-hungry markets. Canaport LNG could be the first LNG re-gasification terminal on the Atlantic coast to be constructed in decades and is a welcome development for energy consumers from New Brunswick to Maine, and New Hampshire to Massachusetts."

The re-gasified LNG would be transported in Canada from the Canaport LNG terminal on the proposed Brunswick Pipeline to an interconnection with the Maritimes system at the U.S.-Canada border at Baileyville. Also on May 16, Emera Inc. announced plans for its full ownership investment in the proposed Brunswick Pipeline. An affiliate of Duke Energy will permit and construct the Brunswick Pipeline.

"Demand for LNG is strong throughout the northeast region. The arrangements to expand Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline, along with agreements with Emera, complete the full value chain arrangements and will enable our project to be first to market with secure natural gas supplies," said Phil Ribbeck, director, LNG North America, for Repsol YPF, in a release. "We are happy to be working with strong regional partners such as Irving, Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline and Emera. We have all our required permits and are moving forward with the LNG terminal construction."

"This expansion will provide Maritimes' shippers with a significant rate reduction, and will offer customers in Atlantic Canada, eastern Canada and the U.S. northeast the real opportunity to secure a safe, reliable, efficient and economic supply of a quality, clean-burning energy source. It expands our energy options and improves our energy security," stated Bloom.

Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline LP and Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline LLC are owned by affiliates of Duke Energy, Emera Inc. and Exxon Mobil Corporation. Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline is headquartered in Halifax, N.S., with an additional office in Waltham, Mass.


© 2006 The Quoddy Tides
Eastport, Maine
Article republished on Save Passamaquoddy Bay website with permission.