Williams files Georgia Strait crossing project

SALT LAKE CITY, April 24, 2001 — Georgia Strait Crossing Pipeline LP, a limited partnership formed by Williams, Tuesday filed an application with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to construct and operate a new natural gas pipeline.

The Georgia Strait Crossing (GSX) Project is a joint proposal by BC Hydro and Williams to provide natural gas transportation service from the market hub near Sumas, Wash. to Vancouver Island. The application filed by Williams focuses on the United States mainland and marine segments of the proposed international project.

A similar application, focusing on the Canadian portion of the GSX Project, was filed with the National Energy Board (NEB) today by Georgia Strait Crossing Pipeline Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of BC Hydro.

“We are pleased to be moving forward with BC Hydro to serve the natural gas needs of British Columbia. At the same time, we believe this project offers numerous opportunities and benefits for the state of Washington,” said Doug Whisenant, senior vice president and general manager for Williams Gas Pipeline-West.

The U.S. mainland portion of the GSX pipeline includes approximately 32 miles of 20-inch pipe from Sumas to compression facilities located at Cherry Point, Wash., and approximately one mile of 16-inch pipe from Cherry Point to the water’s edge.

The proposed route, which largely parallels existing gas pipeline facilities, passes near the communities of Sumas, Lynden, Ferndale, and Birch Bay, Wash.

From the U.S. shoreline, a 16-inch pipeline will travel approximately 41 miles underwater across the Strait of Georgia, through Boundary Pass and the Satellite Channel, in water depths of up to 1,050 feet, to a landfall near Hatch Point on Vancouver Island. The pipeline will then travel 10 miles inland to interconnect with the existing Centra Gas transmission system.

The estimated cost of the GSX Project is $159 million U.S.

“The GSX pipeline, if approved, will help BC Hydro to continue providing our customers on Vancouver Island and throughout B.C. with reliable electricity and among the very lowest rates in North America,” said BC Hydro Treasurer and GSX Project Leader Valerie Lambert.

Subject to regulatory approval, the installation of facilities is scheduled to begin fall of 2002, targeting an in-service date of late fall 2003. A copy of the FERC application will be available for public review at public libraries in Whatcom County, Wash.

About Williams

With a 29,300-mile pipeline network spanning the continental U.S., Williams’ gas pipeline unit is one of the nation’s largest-volume transporters of natural gas. The company is based in Houston and has offices in Salt Lake City and Owensboro, Ky. Williams information is available at www.williams.com.

About BC Hydro

BC Hydro is the third-largest electric utility in Canada, supplying power to over 1.5 million customers in British Columbia. BC Hydro information is available at www.bchydro.com.