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TRANSCO, PIEDMONT, PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCE $100 MILLION PIPELINE PROJECT

TRANSCO, PIEDMONT, PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCE $100 MILLION PIPELINE PROJECT
 HOUSTON, Sept. 14 /PRNewswire/ -- Transco Energy Company (NYSE: E), Piedmont Natural Gas Company, Inc. (NYSE: PNY) and Public Service Company of North Carolina, Inc. (NASDAQ-NMS: PSNC) announced that subsidiaries have formed a partnership, the Blue Ridge Pipeline Company, to construct and own pipeline facilities that would provide incremental firm transportation service through capacity created by an expansion of Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Corporation's (TGPL) system.
 The expansion facilities will be located between TGPL's Mobile Bay interconnect near Butler, Ala., to just north of TGPL's compressor station in Reidsville, N.C. The expansion will provide an additional 150 million cubic feet per day (MMcf/d) of firm transportation capacity to several customers in Alabama, Georgia, the Carolinas and Virginia.
 "This partnership will allow us to meet the demand in the expanding Southeast market with minimal capital cost," said John P. DesBarres, chairman, president and chief executive officer, Transco Energy Company. "And we're enthusiastic about expanding our 40-year relationships with both of these North Carolina customers."
 Piedmont President and Chairman John H. Maxheim and Charles E. Zeigler Jr., president and chief executive officer, PSNC, expressed their pleasure in concluding this agreement to bring additional natural gas supplies to the Carolinas to meet the needs of their rapidly growing service areas. Both companies are currently adding customers at a rate of up to three times the national average for natural gas utilities. They stated that this project would assist in meeting future needs of their customers into the next century.
 Construction of the expansion facilities is estimated to cost $100 million and will be project financed. TGPL's affiliate, Transco Blue Ridge Pipeline Company, will own 50 percent of the partnership; Piedmont Natural Gas, through Piedmont Interstate Pipeline Company, will own 35 percent; and PSNC, through PSNC Blue Ridge Corporation, will own 15 percent. TGPL will operate the facilities for the partnership.
 Subject to approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), construction is scheduled to begin in early 1994, with a target in-service date of November 1, 1994. Construction will include three sections of looping and installation of additional compression totaling approximately 21,000 horsepower.
 TGPL owns and operates a 10,000-mile pipeline system that extends from the Gulf of Mexico to New York City and controls the largest gas gathering system in the Gulf of Mexico. TGPL is a subsidiary of Transco Energy Company, which transports natural gas through its interstate pipeline systems to markets in the eastern and midwestern United States, arranges for the transportation and sale of natural gas throughout the U.S., and is active in independent power generation and natural gas vehicle fueling services. Transco also maintains modest positions in other energy-related businesses.
 Piedmont is an energy and services company primarily engaged in the transportation and sale of natural gas to more than 450,000 residential, commercial and industrial customers in North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee. The Company and its non-utility subsidiaries are also engaged in acquiring, marketing and arranging for the transportation of natural gas to large volume purchasers; in retailing residential and commercial gas appliances; and in the sale of propane to more than 40,000 customers in the company's three-state area.
 Public Service Company distributes natural gas to more than 246,000 North Carolina customers in 87 cities, towns and communities in 26 counties. Public Service, through subsidiaries of its wholly owned subsidiary, PSNC Natural Resources Corporation, also participates in oil and gas exploration and production, and retails propane gas.
 -0- 9/14/92
 /CONTACT: Terri M. Kainer of Transco Energy Company, 713-439-4263; Stephen D. Conner of Piedmont, 704-364-3120; Ruth Kinzey of PSNC, 704-864-6731; or R. Dean Ayers (investors) of Transco Energy Company, 713-439-2593/
 (E PNY PSNC) CO: Transco Energy Company; Piedmont Natural Gas Company, Inc.;
 Public Service Company of North Carolina, Inc. ST: Texas, North Carolina IN: OIL SU:


SH -- NY057 -- 9188 09/14/92 13:19 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Sep 14, 1992
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