Saturday, December 13, 2008

Natural Gas Pipeline for Northwest Washington

Portland Business Journal
Northwest Natural Gas Co. Thursday filed an application with federal energy regulators to build its long-planned interstate gas pipeline.

The application to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission was made by Palomar Gas Transmission LLC, a joint venture between the Portland-based gas utility (NYSE: NWN) and TransCanada Corp. If the certificate application is approved by the end of 2009, construction on the pipeline could begin in 2010 and be in service by November 2011.

The pipeline would be only the second interstate gas transmission line serving customers in the Willamette Valley and southwest Washington, the company said.

Once completed, the 36-inch diameter pipeline would stretch 217 miles from TransCanada’s Gas Transmission Northwest Pipeline in central Oregon to a point on the Columbia River northwest of Portland. It would be capable of transporting 1.3 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day.

“This project would greatly enhance service reliability to NW Natural’s 655,000 residential, commercial, and industrial customers,” Keith White, vice president and chief strategic officer for NW Natural, said in a news release. “The prospect of tapping additional sources of natural gas through Palomar would help mitigate the impact of future price volatility on NW Natural’s customers.”

The pipeline would pass through seven Oregon counties, which would realize an aggregate increase in property taxes of “several million dollars” annually, the company said. It would also create more than 2,000 temporary jobs.

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