FERC issues positive environmental assessment for Williams Evergreen Expansion


SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, May 10, 2002 -- A unit of Williams Friday announced that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has issued the Environmental Assessment for Williams' Evergreen Expansion.

The assessment concluded that approval of the proposed project, with appropriate mitigating measures, "would not constitute a major federal action significantly affecting the quality of the human environment."

"From the beginning, our commitment has been to construct this project in a responsible manner -- FERC's issuing an Environmental Assessment reflects that commitment," said John Davis, manager of business development for Williams. "In light of this favorable news, we're increasingly confident we'll receive a timely approval of the Evergreen Expansion project from the FERC."

The proposed $240 million project is designed to expand Williams' existing Northwest Pipeline system from Sumas to Chehalis, Wash., (Sumas-Chehalis Corridor) to meet the demands of new electric generation facilities and to provide additional capacity in the Plymouth to Washougal, Wash., corridor (Columbia River Gorge Corridor) for existing firm shippers.

The Evergreen Expansion project will add 67,000 horsepower at five compressor stations and four sections of new pipeline loops, totaling 28 miles, in the Sumas-Chehalis Corridor. The new pipeline segments generally will be placed in existing right of way corridors, parallel to Northwest's natural gas transmission system.

To increase north flow capacity for existing firm shippers, 24,000 additional horsepower also will be installed at five compressor stations located within the Columbia River Gorge Corridor. When the entire project is completed, a total of more than 91,000 additional horsepower will be available.

"The additional 276,000 Dth/d of natural gas delivered by the Evergreen Expansion project for the Sumas-Chehalis Corridor will supply the fuel needed for five new power plants in the state of Washington," said Steve Potts, project manager of Williams' Evergreen Expansion.

"This gas will supply the fuel for power plants to generate 1,900 megawatts of electricity, which can serve approximately 2 million homes. In addition, the 54,000 Dth/d of added capacity through the Columbia River Gorge Corridor will reduce existing firm shippers' reliance on displacement capacity."

Pending final FERC approval and receipt of local and state permits, construction on the Evergreen Expansion Project is scheduled to commence this summer, with in-service dates of June 2003 for the Sumas-Chehalis Corridor capacity and November 2003 for the additional Columbia River Gorge capacity.

Connections to the new power plants that will use the expanded Sumas-Chehalis Corridor capacity will require separate delivery projects. Of the five proposed power plants for the state, two already have been connected by new Williams' interconnects.

The first, the Scott Lateral and meter station, was completed late last year. The new .2 miles, 12" pipe lateral will supply approximately 50,000 Dth/d of natural gas to the Frederickson Power Plant L.P.

Last month, Williams completed its Centralia Lateral project, a new interconnect that will supply natural gas to TransAlta's Big Hanaford Power Plant. The 100,000 Dth/d delivery facility includes a new meter station and 2.7 miles of 12" pipe.

Williams' interstate natural gas pipeline system spans the continental United States with access to major supply areas and energy markets. The company's gas pipeline operation is based in Houston and has offices in Tulsa, Okla.; Salt Lake City; and Owensboro, Ky.

About Williams

Williams moves, manages and markets a variety of energy products, including natural gas, liquid hydrocarbons, petroleum and electricity. Our operations span the energy value chain from wellhead to burner tip. Based in Tulsa, Williams and its 12,000 worldwide employees contributed $45 million in 2001 to support the environment, health and human services, the arts, and education in its communities.

Williams information is available at www.williams.com.


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