Houston, Texas-based Spectra Energy and Spectra Energy Partners created the Atlantic Bridge project, a proposed expansion of its Algonquin Gas Transmission and Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline systems, to connect North American natural gas supplies with markets in the New England states and Maritime provinces.
Algonquin and Maritimes & Northeast recently signed an agreement with Unitil Corporation to participate as an anchor shipper in the project. Unitil is a natural gas distribution company that serves parts of Massachusetts and New Hampshire and is the largest distributor in Maine.
"Spectra Energy's pipeline systems are strategically positioned to answer New England's need for additional domestic, clean-burning natural gas." said Bill Yardley, Spectra Energy's President of U. S. Transmission and Storage. "We are able to expand our existing facilities, mostly within their current footprint, and be operational by 2017. The additional supply will keep prices lower overall, while also dampening future gas and electricity price volatility, generating savings for homeowners, manufacturers and businesses."
A majority of the Atlantic Bridge project's construction is expected to occur within existing rights-of-way and at company-owned facilities, thus having minimal effect on landowners, communities and the environment.
According to Spectra, “building on that agreement, today's announcement coincides with the beginning of an open season to invite other customers to join the Atlantic Bridge project for additional natural gas service by 2017. The expansion will increase pipeline capacity by 100,000 to in excess of 600,000 dekatherms of natural gas per day, depending upon additional market commitments across the region.” Open season closes on March 31, 2014.
The Atlantic Bridge project has a target in-service date of November 2017, and has the flexibility to consider further commitments for 2018 depending on shipper requests. With efforts currently underway by the six New England states to bring additional natural gas into the region, Spectra Energy said it “looks forward to developing solutions with those parties for expansions of Algonquin or Maritimes & Northeast systems as part of the Atlantic Bridge project or part of a future expansion.”