WASHINGTON and HOUSTON, Jan. 25, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- NiSource's Columbia Gas Transmission (Columbia) today received approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for a customer settlement that facilitates Columbia's comprehensive pipeline infrastructure investment plan.
The settlement, filed on September 4, 2012 and widely supported by Columbia's customers, covers the initial five years of Columbia's investment plan and contains provisions for potential extension thereafter. Among other components, key elements of the settlement identify individual infrastructure projects and establish a mechanism for recovery of Columbia's revenue requirement for infrastructure investment under the plan.
"FERC's approval of our customer settlement is a milestone in our efforts to modernize Columbia's interstate pipeline system in a balanced, thoughtful and transparent manner," said Jimmy Staton, Columbia's chief executive officer. "We acknowledge FERC for their timely review and approval, and appreciate the collaboration from our customers. We look forward to getting the job done. The work we do will help ensure safer, more reliable pipeline infrastructure for our customers and the communities across our footprint."
Under the settlement, Columbia will invest approximately $300 million per year, in addition to a $100 million investment in ongoing maintenance, over the 2013 through 2017 period on system improvements, which include:
- Replacing Aging Infrastructure – commencing the replacement of approximately 1,000 miles of existing interstate transmission pipelines, primarily bare steel (400 miles in the first five years);
- Upgrading Natural Gas Compression Systems – replacing and modernizing more than 50 critical compressor units along the pipeline system that will enhance system efficiency and improve environmental performance;
- Increasing Pipeline System Reliability – uprating pressures and looping systems where needed to ensure gas is reliably delivered to critical markets; and
- Expanding In-Line Inspection Capabilities – facilitating Columbia's ability to perform state-of-the-art maintenance and inspections without interrupting services
Infrastructure investment work will take place across Columbia's footprint, including Kentucky, Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia. More than 7,000 direct jobs are expected to be created as a result of the infrastructure investment program. That work will cover a broad range of activities, including facility engineering and design, permitting, project management and a variety of construction trades.
Working with FERC and other federal, state and local agencies, Columbia will continue to engage key stakeholders, landowners and customers throughout the planning and construction process. More information about the company's investment projects can be found on www.ngts.com.
Columbia projects that its entire infrastructure investment plan could involve an investment of approximately $4 billion over an extended (10-15 year) period.
About Columbia Gas Transmission, LLC
Columbia Gas Transmission, LLC is a unit of NiSource Inc. Other NiSource pipeline companies include Columbia Gulf Transmission, Crossroads Pipeline, Hardy Storage, and Millennium Pipeline. Combined, the companies operate approximately 15,000 miles of interstate natural gas pipeline and 37 storage fields, delivering over 1 trillion cubic feet of natural gas per year. For more information about Columbia Gas Transmission or the other NiSource Gas Transmission & Storage companies, please visit www.ngts.com.
NiSource Inc. (NYSE: NI), based in Merrillville, Ind., is a Fortune 500 company engaged in natural gas transmission, storage and distribution, as well as electric generation, transmission and distribution. NiSource operating companies deliver energy to more than 3.8 million customers located within the high-demand energy corridor stretching from the Gulf Coast through the Midwest to New England. Information about NiSource and its subsidiaries is available via the Internet at www.nisource.com. NI-F
Forward-Looking Statements This news release includes forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. Those statements include statements regarding the intent, belief or current expectations of NiSource and Columbia, and their respective management. Although NiSource and Columbia believe that their expectations are based on reasonable assumptions, they can give no assurance that their goals will be achieved. Readers are cautioned that the forward-looking statements in this release are not guarantees of future performance and involve a number of risks and uncertainties, and that actual results could differ materially from those indicated by such forward-looking statements. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those indicated by such forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, the following: weather; fluctuations in supply and demand for energy commodities; growth opportunities for NiSource's and Columbia's businesses; the success of regulatory and commercial initiatives; dealings with third parties over whom NiSource and Columbia have no control; actual operating experience of NiSource's and Columbia's assets; the regulatory process; regulatory and legislative changes; the impact of potential new environmental laws or regulations; the results of material litigation; changes in general economic, capital and commodity market conditions; and counterparty credit risk and the matters set forth in the "Risk Factors" Section in NiSource Inc.'s 2011 Form 10-K and 2012 Forms 10-Q, many of which are risks beyond the control of NiSource or NGT&S. Both NiSource and Columbia expressly disclaim a duty to update any of the forward-looking statements contained in this release.
SOURCE NiSource Inc.; Columbia Gas Transmission