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Yankee Gas Services Company
P.O. Box 270
Hartford, CT 06141-0270
(800) 989-0900

www.yankeegas.com
News Release
  
Yankee Gas System Expansion Serves As Building Block for Northeast Utilities' Strategy for Future Growth
Expansion fulfills merger promise, increases fuel diversity
 
MEDIA CONTACT:Sandy St. Pierre
Office:(203) 639-4423
After Hours:800-279-1173
 
MERIDEN, Conn., May 15, 2001, (NYSE: NU) – Yankee Gas Services Company, part of the Northeast Utilities (NU) system, today announced the first phase of a comprehensive, multi-year expansion of its natural gas distribution system, an investment of approximately $23 million to install 70 miles of new gas mains and services throughout Connecticut. This expansion reflects the company’s commitment to growth of its gas distribution system, as agreed to with state regulators in its merger with NU last year. It extends greater fuel diversity to Connecticut consumers by offering another energy choice and supports key economic development efforts in the state. It also serves as a strong first pillar in NU’s plans for the future.

“This investment in our gas distribution business is an important first leg of our strategy for growth,” said Michael G. Morris, chairman, president and CEO of NU. “By investing in our utility infrastructure, we’re investing in our future. At the same time, we’re increasing energy choices for businesses and homeowners in Connecticut.

This makes good business sense for all our constituencies and signals a real commitment to our presence, strength and stability in this market,” Morris added.

Expansion supports economic development initiatives
Two industrial parks -- Silvermine Industrial Park in Seymour and Willenbrock Industrial Park in Oxford – are among 12 projects targeted in this phase of Yankee’s expansion effort. Many of the projects will extend gas availability through the commercial business districts of several communities, including Suffield, Middlebury, Woodbury, Prospect and Darien. (See attached fact sheet for a brief overview of each project.)

“The State welcomes this expansion effort into some of these key commercial and industrial areas,” said James Abromaitis, commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Economic & Community Development. “Giving businesses more fuel choice and enhanced power reliability helps contribute to more robust business development. That’s good for Connecticut’s economy because it keeps jobs here and helps us attract new businesses.”

“We are excited about this growth of our distribution system because it will offer natural gas service to consumers in areas not currently served, giving them more choices in meeting their energy needs,” said Dennis E. Welch, president and COO of Yankee Gas, Connecticut’s largest natural gas distribution company.

Since 1996, Connecticut businesses have been able to choose their gas supplier. Commercial and industrial customers can buy their natural gas from gas marketers, often at competitive rates that are more cost-effective for their businesses. This expansion of Yankee’s distribution system extends this choice to more Connecticut businesses.

Power reliability
In today’s technologically advanced and e-commerce driven economy, many businesses rely on uninterrupted energy supplies to keep their businesses running without interruption – whether it’s process applications or computer applications. Companies can meet this need by using natural gas to run equipment like fuel cells that produce an uninterrupted supply of electric power. Natural gas also can be used for heating, cooling, or process applications critical to many businesses. In addition, businesses with bi-fuel capabilities can cost-effectively balance their energy needs while ensuring power reliability.

Residential benefits
This expansion also will deliver natural gas to existing residential customers in these communities, as well as several new subdivisions scheduled for construction. Natural gas has many residential uses, from traditional heating and water heating to cooking, grilling, hearth products and lighting. It is also increasingly easy to install natural gas service, thanks to materials like copper pipe and corrugated stainless steel tubing (CSST). And, it is a constant source of energy that does not require tanks to be refilled. According to a study of residential use released by the American Gas Association earlier this year, 70% of the single-family homes built in 1999 in the U.S. featured natural gas.

Work under way
Construction has already begun on two projects (Silvermine and Willenbrock industrial parks); the remaining expansion projects will get under way in the near future. In some cases, Yankee’s expansion efforts will begin this year and extend over the next four years before being completed. The company is working closely with local municipal officials to minimize disruptions to businesses and homeowners due to the construction and to ensure local concerns are addressed.

Yankee Energy System, Inc.,(YES) which is part of the Northeast Utilities system, includes Yankee Gas Services Company, the largest natural gas distribution company in Connecticut serving approximately 187,000 customers in 69 cities and towns throughout the state. Yankee Energy also includes Yankee Energy Financial Services Company, which provides a full range of residential and commercial energy equipment financing options. Further information about YES can be obtained from its Web sites: www.yankeeenergy.com, www.yankeegas.com, www.yankeefinancialservices.com





Yankee Gas Services Company -- System Expansion Overview
CommunityProject DetailsEstimated Start
Oxford –
Willenbrock Industrial Park
9,600 feet of main
Route – South on Christian Street to Hawley Street to Willenbrock
2001
Construction
under way
      Seymour –
      Silvermine Industrial Park
7,500 feet of main
Install gas mains/services on Silvermine Road, Progress Avenue & Cogwheel Lane
2001
Construction
under way
Middlebury 10,200 feet of main
Route – Route 188 to center of Middlebury
Central business district and residential area
2001
Woodbury 38,200 feet of main
Extends Southbury distribution system north on Route 6 through center of Woodbury
Extend from Main Street to K-Mart Plaza
2001
Prospect 32,000 feet of main
Ties Naugatuck & Waterbury distribution system together
East on Route 68 from Naugatuck to center of Prospect at Route 69. Then, north on Route 69 from center to East Mountain
Central business district and industrial parks
2001
Suffield -- Residential 12,300 feet of main
Extend from existing main on Route 159 heading west to Mapleton Avenue
To serve 3 residential subdivisions
2001
Suffield – Business District 2001 – 46,940 feet of main
Additional expansion expected as growth dictates
Extend from existing main on Routes 513 and 168 to 526 heading west through the downtown area to serve new High School
Entire business district
Residential
2001
Ellington 15,500 feet of main
Route – Extension north on Route 83 from existing distribution system
2 subdivisions
2001
Enfield 2,400 feet of main
Route – From Abby Road north on Broadbrook Road
1 subdivision
2001
Waterford – Extension #1;
Extension #2
Total of 60,000 feet of main
Route #1 – Extension from Niles Hill Road to Great Neck Road to Shore Road
Route #2 – Extend from Old Norwich Road at Yankee Gas gate station, north to Scotch Cap Road
2002
Montville 9,200 feet of main
Route – extend main on Old Colchester Road
2002
Darien 22,200 feet of main
Route – Route 1 to tie Norwalk and Stamford distribution system together
Central business district
2001





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