EDITORS: Please do not use
"Pacific Gas and Electric" or "PG&E" when
referring to PG&E Corporation or its National Energy Group.
The PG&E National Energy Group is not the same company as Pacific
Gas and Electric Company, the utility, and is not regulated by the
California Public Utilities Commission. Customers of Pacific Gas
and Electric Company do not have to buy products or services from
the National Energy Group in order to continue to receive quality
regulated services from Pacific Gas and Electric Company.
PG&E GAS TRANSMISSION
NORTHWEST COMPLETES CONSTRUCTION OF 21 MILES OF NEW NATURAL GAS
Company Also Files FERC
Application for 2003 Expansion Project
PORTLAND, Ore. - PG&E Gas
Transmission Northwest (GTN), a unit of PG&E National Energy Group,
announced today that service has begun on 21 miles of new pipeline
installed this fall as part of GTN's 2002 mainline expansion. The
new pipe increases the company's ability to deliver natural gas
to western markets by 42,000 decatherms per day (Dth/d) one year
early and in time for the 2001 winter heating season.
"We applaud the efforts
of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to expedite the permitting
process so that some of this new capacity could be in service before
the winter heating season," said Thomas B. King, president and chief
operating officer of PG&E National Energy Group's West Region.
The new 42-inch pipe is
in Spokane County, Wash., and Kootenai County, Idaho, and represents
the first installation of a third pipe, known as the "C" line, in
GTN's mainline right of way. The new pipe became operational late
Friday. The pipeline addition is part of GTN's 2002 Expansion Project,
which also includes new 19,500-horsepower compressor units at five
existing stations on the GTN main line. The 2002 mainline expansion
increases capacity on the GTN system by 220,000 Dth/d.
Also on Friday, GTN filed
with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for a certificate
to build a second expansion for service commencing in the fall of
2003. The proposed 2003 expansion project would add another 143,000
Dth/d beginning in the fall of 2003, plus an additional 20,000 Dth/d
of winter-only service. The 2003 expansion project calls for an
additional 53 miles of new "C" line pipe, plus the installation
of one 19,500-horsepower compressor unit on the mainline system.
Combined, the 2002 and 2003
expansion projects would put the total GTN capacity at nearly 3,100,000
"The 2002 and 2003 expansion
projects will provide much-needed natural gas transmission capacity
to supply electric generation projects already in construction or
advanced development in California and the Pacific Northwest," King
GTN also is exploring the
possibility of building a pipeline lateral from its mainline system
near Spokane, Wash., to the Interstate 5 corridor near Seattle/Tacoma.
The company has been in discussions with potential shippers about
the Washington lateral project since an open season was completed
in June 2001.
"There is clearly market
interest in this project," King said. "We have successfully completed
much of the initial feasibility studies for the Washington lateral
project and are ready to move to development when the market indicates
it is ready."
King noted that the commissioning
of the new "C" line coincides with the GTN pipeline system's 40th
anniversary. The GTN system went into service on Dec. 2, 1961, with
initial capacity of 580,000 Dth/d. The original system, inaugurated
as Pacific Gas Transmission Company, consisted of one 36-inch pipe,
the "A" line. The mainline system grew over the last four decades,
first through the addition of a second pipe, the "B" line, measuring
42-inches, and now with the beginning of the "C" line.
The GTN system includes
1,356 miles of pipeline along a 612-mile route which begins at the
Idaho/British Columbia border, traversing through northern Idaho,
southeastern Washington and central Oregon, and terminates at the
Oregon/California border, where it interconnects with the Pacific
Gas and Electric Company pipeline system and Tuscarora Gas Transmission.
PG&E National Energy Group,
headquartered in Bethesda, Md., develops, builds, owns and operates
electric generation and natural gas transmission facilities and
provides energy-related trading, marketing and risk-management services.
PG&E National Energy Group is a unit of PG&E Corporation (NYSE:
This news release contains forward-looking
statements concerning GTN's plans for future pipeline projects that
involve a number of risks and uncertainties. Actual future results
may vary materially from those expressed or implied in any forward-looking
statements. Some of the key factors that could cause actual results
to differ materially include, but are not limited to, (i) changes
in government regulations; (ii) increasing competition within the
natural gas pipeline industry and for natural gas suppliers; (iii)
whether the completion of pipeline projects may be delayed or prevented
by permitting delays or restrictions, shortages of equipment or
labor, work stoppages, adverse weather conditions, unforeseen engineering
problems, adverse environmental conditions and unanticipated cost
increases; (iv) refusal or reluctance of connecting pipelines to
expand their pipeline capacity; (v) the ability of new pipeline
customers to construct and operate electric generating facilities;
(vi) the availability of financing for the proposed pipeline projects
on terms acceptable to GTN; and other factors discussed in reports
filed by GTN (PG&E National Energy Group) and PG&E Corporation with
the Securities and Exchange Commission.