CMS Energy Expands LNG Unit

CMS Energy Corporation's liquefied natural gas (LNG) unit CMS Trunkline LNG Company, which operates North America's largest LNG terminal, will expand its Lake Charles, La., facility to approximately 1.2 billion cubic feet per day of send out capacity, up from its current send out capacity of 630 million cubic feet per day.

With this expansion, CMS Trunkline LNG will maintain its position as the largest operating LNG import terminal in the United States as well as the country's leading LNG terminal operator. The terminal's storage capacity also will be expanded to 9 billion cubic feet from its current storage capacity of 6.3 billion cubic feet.

Facilities to be constructed as part of the expansion at Lake Charles will consist of a second LNG unloading dock, a fourth LNG storage tank and additional LNG pumps and vaporizers. The company plans to file its expansion plans with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in November. Construction will begin after approval from the FERC is received. The expanded facility is planned to be in operation in early 2005.

"LNG is a growing component of the United States' natural gas market, and it will continue to grow in order to help meet the nation's growing demand for energy," said Christopher A. Helms, president of the CMS Panhandle Companies. "This expansion will ensure that CMS Trunkline LNG will continue to be the U.S. leader in LNG importation and related services. LNG will play an increasingly important role in the nation's energy policy."

This expansion will be committed to fulfill the service requirements of BG LNG Services, Inc., a subsidiary of BG Group of the United Kingdom.

CMS Trunkline LNG's terminal in Lake Charles has steadily grown to be the largest operator of U.S. import facilities. In 2000, there were 55 LNG cargoes unloaded at the CMS Trunkline LNG terminal, which is the equivalent of about 140 billion cubic feet of gas. There have been 57 cargoes of LNG unloaded at the terminal through September 30, which represents approximately 151 billion cubic feet of gas. The company anticipates more than 60 LNG cargoes will be received in 2001, and the terminal is well positioned to receive future gas imports from the major LNG producing areas including Europe, Africa, Asia, South America and Australia.

CMS Panhandle Companies, which includes Panhandle Eastern Pipe Line Company, Trunkline Gas Company, Trunkline LNG Company and Sea Robin Pipeline Company, operates more than 10,000 miles of mainline natural gas pipeline extending from the Gulf of Mexico to the Midwest and Canada. These pipelines access the major natural gas supply regions of the Louisiana and Texas Gulf Coasts as well as the Midcontinent and Rocky Mountains. The pipelines have a combined peak day delivery capacity of 5.4 billion cubic feet per day, 88 billion cubic feet of underground storage facilities and 6.3 billion cubic feet of above ground liquid storage facilities.