Gas capacity of Canada-US pipeline to be tripled

MARITIMES & Northeast Pipeline has begun to develop plans to triple the capacity of its 1360-km pipe system that transports natural gas from Canada to Massachusetts by way of Maine.

The additional capacity would likely be taken up by shipments from two Canadian LNG terminals proposed for Nova Scotia and New Brunswick; LNG terminals proposed in coastal Maine have encountered strong local opposition.

No price tag has been set for the pipeline project, which has a November, 2008, target date for the new capacity to come on line, said Marylee Hanley, Maritimes & Northeast’s manager of government and public affairs, based in Waltham, Mass. The project would increase the pipeline’s capacity from its current 440 million to 1.5 billion cuft/d, and the work would include construction of five compressor stations and some ‘looping’, or installation of additional pipeline, in the existing right-of-way in Maine, Ms Hanley said.

The existing pipeline, completed in 2000, enters Maine near Baileyville and runs to the New Hampshire line. The company already has begun to notify Maine towns where it expects to be doing construction, and Hanley said details of the project should be completed by the end of the year, when it plans to file an application with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

Maritimes & Northeast is owned by affiliates of Duke Energy, Emera Inc., and ExxonMobil.

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