Duke Energy, Piedmont Natural Gas seek proposals for natural gas pipeline

Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK) and Piedmont Natural Gas (NYSE: PNY) are seeking proposals to build and operate a major wholesale natural gas pipeline into North Carolina.

The companies say that the pipeline is needed to meet the increased demand for natural gas, as coal-fired power plants retire.

Since 2011, Duke Energy has opened five new, cleaner-burning natural gas-fired power plants in the state. Piedmont pipelines supply natural gas to all five facilities.

Duke Energy also has proposed a new natural gas-fired power plant in South Carolina.

Duke Energy and Piedmont are also considering “a joint venture, ownership interest, strategic partnership or other financial-based arrangement” the solicitation says.

The companies seek a natural gas pipeline capacity of up to 900 million cubic feet per day, with a target in-service date of late 2018.

A proposal is expected to be selected and announced by the end of 2014.

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