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PG&E Gas Transmission Northwest Celebrates 40 Years Of Operation

11/30/2001
Company Maintains Outstanding Safety Record, Looks to Future Projects

PORTLAND, Ore. - PG&E Corporation's (NYSE: PCG) PG&E Gas Transmission Northwest Corporation (GTN) will celebrate its fortieth year in operation on Monday, December 3. During its four decades of service to energy consumers in the West, the GTN system has quadrupled in capacity, and plans call for continued growth to meet increasing energy demand.

GTN was incorporated as Pacific Gas Transmission Company, a business affiliate of Pacific Gas and Electric Company, in 1957. Four years later, on December 2, 1961, the natural gas system's original pipeline -- now known as the "A" line -- began transporting natural gas to its customers in both California and the Pacific Northwest.

"For four decades, GTN has provided unparalleled service to energy consumers across the West, growing to meet new demands for energy," said Thomas B. King, president and chief operating officer of PG&E National Energy Group's West Region. "Over the years, we have earned one of the best safety records in the industry, and our commitment to environmental stewardship and customer service is evident in all aspects of our business."

GTN originated as the federally regulated U.S. component of the Alberta to California pipeline, a 1,400-mile system involving two countries, six states and provinces, four companies and four regulatory jurisdictions.

The GTN system extends from the British Columbia-Idaho border to the Oregon-California border. During its first year of operation, the pipeline was capable of transporting approximately 615,000 decatherms per day (Dth/d) of natural gas. Today, the system consists of two parallel pipelines -- the "A" and "B" lines -- along the entire 612-mile right-of-way and has the capability to transport about 2.7 million Dth/d.

In early November, the first of the "C" line went into service when GTN completed a 21-mile segment of a third pipeline in Spokane County, Wash., and Kootenai County, Idaho. This addition, part of GTN's 2002 Expansion Project, also includes new 19,500-horsepower compressor units at five existing stations on the GTN main line. The 2002 mainline expansion increases capacity on the GTN system by 220,000 Dth/d.

In addition, last month, GTN filed with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for a certificate to build a second expansion for service commencing in the fall of 2003. The proposed expansion project would add another 143,000 Dth/d, plus an additional 20,000 Dth/d of winter-only service. The 2003 expansion project calls for an additional 53 miles of new "C" Line pipe, plus the installation of one 19,500-horsepower compressor unit on the mainline system.

Combined, the 2002 and 2003 expansion projects would put the total GTN capacity at almost 3.1 million Dth/d.

GTN was the first fully automated natural gas pipeline in the United States. Today, leading-edge technology allows pipeline controllers to respond quickly to changing market demand. An internet-based bulletin board, with nearly 200 commercial customers, enables capacity holders to trade their contract rights quickly. Currently, capacity on GTN's system is contracted with more than 40 long-term customers, with many of the contracts extending well into the next decade.

PG&E National Energy Group, headquartered in Bethesda, Md., develops, builds, owns and operates electric generating and natural gas pipeline facilities and provides energy trading, marketing and risk-management services.

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