November 1, 2002
RICHMOND, VA - Dominion (NYSE:D) says a preliminary determination by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to move forward with the proposed Greenbrier Pipeline underscores the key role that natural gas will play in promoting long-term economic growth in Mid-Atlantic and Southeast markets.
Thos. E. Capps, chairman, president and chief executive officer, said:
"While this is a conditional green light, FERC is recognizing what market forces and the consumers of the region have been telling us - that this is a growing part of the country in need of new access to energy sources. When completed, Greenbrier Pipeline will open expansion opportunities for local distribution companies, power supply projects, energy marketing companies, and industrial customers seeking a broader range of competitive gas suppliers.
"We will continue to work closely with FERC and with local developers, residents and landowners to develop an acceptable route that will bring that energy into the region."
The FERC issued its preliminary determination yesterday after reviewing Greenbrier's market studies, proposed FERC Tariff and rate design. Dominion expects final approval by mid-2003. In its determination, FERC said the Greenbrier Pipeline should continue to go forward, pending the outcome of environmental reviews. On October 24, FERC issued a draft environmental impact statement that examines the effect of the pipeline on the specific route chosen by the Greenbrier Pipeline and proposes certain route adjustments.
The Greenbrier Pipeline, a partnership between Dominion and Piedmont Natural Gas (NYSE: PNY) would be a 280-mile, $497 million project. It would originate in Kanawha County, W.Va., and extend southeast to Granville County, N.C. The planned route has been mapped by the partnership during more than two years of meetings with local governments, landowners, customers and other stakeholders.
The pipeline is expected to enter service in mid-2005 with capacity to move more than 580 million cubic feet of natural gas per day. It will operate as Greenbrier Pipeline Company, LLC.
Dominion owns 67 percent of the pipeline partnership, Piedmont Natural Gas 33 percent. The pipeline will be designed, constructed and operated by Dominion Transmission Inc. The proposed route through West Virginia, Virginia and North Carolina includes two new compressor stations - the Elk River Station in Kanawha County, W.Va., and the Eden Station in Rockingham County, N.C. Detailed route maps can be viewed on Dominion's Web site (www.dom.com, keyword Greenbrier).
Dominion has a diversified and integrated energy portfolio consisting of about 24,000-megawatts of generation, 5.7 trillion cubic feet equivalent of natural gas reserves, nearly 7,700 miles of natural gas transmission pipeline and the nation's largest underground natural gas storage system with more than 960 billion cubic feet of storage capacity. Dominion also serves over 3.8 million franchise natural gas and electric customers in five states. In addition, Dominion owns a managing equity interest in Dominion Fiber Ventures, LLC, owner of Dominion Telecom. For more information about Dominion, visit the company's web site at www.dom.com.
Piedmont Natural Gas is an energy and services company primarily engaged in the distribution of natural gas to 710,000 residential, commercial and industrial customers in North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee. The Charlotte-based company is the second-largest natural gas utility in the Southeast. Piedmont is also invested in a number of non-utility, energy-related businesses including companies involved in unregulated retail natural gas and propane marketing, and interstate and intrastate natural gas storage and transportation. More information about Piedmont Natural Gas is available on the Internet at www.piedmontng.com.
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||Robert Fulton, (304) 627-3200 or (412) 690-1370