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Duke Energy completes Australian pipeline

4 September 2002 – Duke Energy business unit Duke Energy International (DEI) yesterday inaugurated the Tasmanian Gas Pipeline, Australia’s longest sub-sea pipeline project. The newly completed pipeline brings natural gas to the island state of Tasmania and connects it to Australia’s growing natural gas network.

The $246 million (A$440 million) project includes 455 miles (732 km) of sub-sea and underground pipeline and the conversion of the Bell Bay Power Station on Tasmania to natural gas. The project will provide a much-needed energy alternative for Australia’s last state to receive natural gas.

DEI President and Chief Executive Officer Richard McGee said today’s celebrations marked an important international milestone for DEI.

“The Tasmanian Gas Pipeline delivers on a promise DEI made just a few short years ago to bring a new, competitive and reliable energy supply to Tasmania to fuel industrial growth and spur long-term employment opportunities in the state,” McGee said. “In four years, DEI has taken the project from pipe dream to construction reality. We’ve invested in expanding Australia’s energy market, creating a new market in Tasmania and enhancing trading opportunities nationally.

“While natural gas will be sold to homes and businesses in Tasmania’s major population centres by a retail distributor, it was the support of the underpinning industrial customers which made it possible for DEI to consider such a large investment,” he said.

At the launch event, McGee announced the start of construction of the VicHub project, a DEI initiative which will enable gas to flow freely between Victoria, New South Wales, and Tasmania through construction of a link between the Eastern Gas Pipeline, Tasmanian Gas Pipeline and the GasNet pipeline system.

“VicHub is an exciting project in the Australian energy industry as it offers new and existing gas retailers greater diversity of supply while providing an effective gas-trading platform. It enables gas to be bought and sold between states, leading to a more efficient market and greater security of supply for consumers. It will also inject additional gas into Victoria during the peak winter demand periods providing price and curtailment protection,” he said.