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Islander East files to build new Conn.-L.I. gas line

Islander East Pipeline Co LLC said Thursday it filed an application...

Islander East Pipeline Co LLC said Thursday it filed an application with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to construct, own and operate a 50-mile interstate natural gas pipeline that will transport gas to growing markets in Connecticut, New York City and Long Island, N.Y.

Islander East is a joint venture between subsidiaries of Duke Energy and KeySpan Corp.

The company said Islander East, expected to be in service by 2003, will transport up to 285 million cubic feet of natural gas per day to meet the energy needs of the region, which is growing at a greater rate than other parts of the country.

Through interconnections to virtually every major supply basin in North America, including recently developed natural gas reserves in eastern Canada, Islander East will further supplement the natural gas supplies necessary to fuel new and existing gas-fired, electric generating plants as well as local distribution companies in the area.

``This growth will continue as more people switch their homes and workplaces to natural gas and as new natural gas-powered, electric generating plants come on line. By bringing natural gas from a newly developed basin in Atlantic Canada, Islander East will enhance the reliability and competitive cost of energy in the New York metropolitan area,'' Robert Catell, chairman and chief executive of KeySpan, said in a statement.

The proposed Islander East mainline pipeline, which is expected to cost $150 million, will extend from Connecticut across Long Island Sound to Wading River, N.Y., with proposed connections to KeySpan's Long Island delivery system.

Islander East facilities will consist of about 50 miles of new, 24-inch diameter pipeline.

Additionally, Algonquin Gas Transmission Co., a unit of Duke Energy Gas Transmission (DEGT), is proposing certain upgrades to its system in Connecticut that will interconnect with Islander East -- about 13.7 miles of existing parallel pipelines will be upgraded and a new compressor station will be constructed in Cheshire, Conn.

KeySpan of New York City is the largest distributor of natural gas in the Northeast, with 2.4 million gas customers and more than 13,000 employees.

KeySpan is also the largest investor-owned electric generator in New York State and operates Long Island's electric system under contract with the Long Island Power Authority for its 1.1 million customers.

Duke Energy Gas Transmission manages 12,000 miles of natural gas pipelines including East Tennessee Natural Gas Co., Texas Eastern Transmission LP, Algonquin Gas Transmission Co. and with other partners, Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline.

DEGT also owns natural gas salt cavern facilities in Texas and Louisiana with a total storage capacity of 24 billion cubic feet.