MERRILLVILLE, Ind., Sept. 4, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- NiSource Inc.'s (NYSE: NI) Columbia Gas Transmission subsidiary today filed a customer settlement in support of its comprehensive interstate natural gas pipeline modernization program with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). The parties have asked the FERC to approve the settlement before the end of 2012.
Columbia Gas Transmission projects it will invest approximately $4 billion over an extended period to modernize its system to improve system integrity and enhance service reliability and flexibility. As part of this effort, Columbia has reached an agreement with customers for an initial five-year term with provisions for potential extensions thereafter. The settlement proposes an adjustment to base rates and a predictable annual cost-recovery mechanism – or tracker – for the $300 million annual investment.
"This represents another step forward in our efforts to enhance the long-term value of our existing assets," said NiSource President and Chief Executive Officer Robert C. Skaggs Jr. "By partnering with our customers, we've developed a collaborative settlement that supports good public policy, while creating a win-win for customers, pipeline integrity, economic growth and shareholder value."
Ultimately the modernization program will enhance the reliability and flexibility of the company's core pipeline system, and help ensure continued safe and reliable service while positioning the company to meet anticipated regulatory requirements. This investment is in addition to the well-established pipeline integrity program already in place across the entire NiSource Gas Transmission & Storage system."Across each of our three business units, NiSource continues to deliver on a robust combination of infrastructure modernization, growth and regulatory initiatives that together deliver significant benefits for our customers and solid value for our shareholders," Skaggs noted. About NiSourceNiSource Inc., based in Merrillville, Ind., is a Fortune 500 company engaged in natural gas transmission, storage and distribution, as well as electric generation, transmission and distribution. NiSource operating companies deliver energy to 3.8 million customers located within the high-demand energy corridor stretching from the Gulf Coast through the Midwest to New England. Information about NiSource and its subsidiaries is available via the Internet at www.nisource.com. NI-F Caution Regarding Forward-Looking StatementsThis news release includes forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. Those statements include statements regarding the intent, belief or current expectations of NGT&S and its management. Although NiSource and Columbia Gas Transmission, LLC ("NGT&S") believe that the expectations are based on reasonable assumptions, they can give no assurance that the goals will be achieved. Readers are cautioned that the forward-looking statements in this release are not guarantees of future performance and involve a number of risks and uncertainties, and that actual results could differ materially from those indicated by such forward-looking statements. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those indicated by such forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, the following: weather; fluctuations in supply and demand for energy commodities; growth opportunities for NGT&S' businesses; the success of regulatory and commercial initiatives; dealings with third parties over whom NGT&S has no control; actual operating experience of NGT&S' assets; the regulatory process; regulatory and legislative changes; the impact of potential new environmental laws or regulations; the results of material litigation; changes in general economic, capital and commodity market conditions; and counterparty credit risk and the matters set forth in the "Risk Factors" Section in NiSource Inc.'s 2011 Form 10-K and 2012 Forms 10-Q, many of which are risks beyond the control of NiSource and NGT&S. NiSource and NGT&S expressly disclaim a duty to update any of the forward-looking statements contained in this release. SOURCE NiSource Inc.; Columbia Gas Transmission