TransCanada Corporation (TSX:TRP) (NYSE:TRP) (TransCanada) today announced the start of a binding open season to obtain commitments from interested parties for firm capacity on the Canadian Mainline natural gas transmission system in the Eastern Triangle region between North Bay, Toronto and Montréal.
TransCanada anticipates that additional pipeline capacity and compression facilities may be required to accommodate customers seeking greater access to natural gas supplies in Eastern Canada and to provide firm capacity for any customers that do not currently utilize firm service in the Eastern Triangle.
TransCanada is committed to ensuring there is sufficient capacity to meet the needs of its existing and new customers that contract for firm transportation prior to and following the planned transfer of a portion of the Canadian Mainline's capacity to crude oil transportation service for the proposed Energy East Pipeline project.
"The Canadian Mainline continues to be a critical piece of Canada's natural gas infrastructure, and TransCanada will ensure that our customers continue to receive reliable and fairly priced transportation services," said Karl Johannson, TransCanada's president of natural gas pipelines.
"Energy East will go a long way towards improving the utilization of our existing Mainline system for the benefit of our customers," Johannson said. "This open season is an important step in identifying the scope and cost of any new capacity that may be needed. It will also allow TransCanada to ensure that the cost of serving our natural gas customers does not increase as a result of the Energy East conversion."
If subscription for firm service requires the construction of additional gas pipeline capacity, TransCanada will proceed with the necessary regulatory applications. TransCanada is committed to sharing information and seeking input from landowners, local communities, aboriginal groups, and customers and will undertake an extensive stakeholder engagement process as part of any future expansion projects.
The open season will begin on November 29, 2013 and will close on January 15, 2014. Interested parties may submit binding bids for transportation capacity during the open season. Shipper information regarding the open season is available at: www.transcanada.com/customerexpress/mainline.html