National Energy Board approves MATL power line application

    CALGARY, April 4 /CNW/ - The National Energy Board (NEB) has issued a
permit to Montana Alberta Tie Ltd. (MATL) to construct and operate the
Canadian portion of an international power line (IPL) between Lethbridge,
Alberta and Great Falls, Montana.
    The IPL will cover a total distance of 347 kilometres (km) of which
130 km will be located in Canada. It will be the first major interconnection
between Alberta and the United States. MATL will be constructing a new 230
kilovolt substation and a phase shifting transformer near Lethbridge. This
substation will control the direction of the flow allowing power to be
transferred in either direction. MATL proposes to begin construction in
September 2007.
    This line is the first merchant IPL transmission line located in Alberta
to be approved by the NEB. Typically, the builders of a merchant line assume
the full cost of construction. The owner of the line provides transmission
service to those wishing to transmit power. Any person or company wishing to
export electricity on the MATL line must do so in accordance with a permit or
licence issued by the NEB.
    The NEB performed an environmental screening of the project under the
Canadian Environmental Assessment Act. The approval of this project is subject
to a number of environmental conditions.

    The NEB is an independent federal agency that regulates several aspects
of Canada's energy industry. Its purpose is to promote safety and security,
environmental protection, and efficient energy infrastructure and markets in
the Canadian public interest, within the mandate set by Parliament in the
regulation of pipelines, energy development and trade.

    This news release and the Reasons for Decision are available on the
Board's Internet site at under What's New!

    For a copy of Reasons for Decision:  National Energy Board Library
                                         Ground Floor
                                         444 Seventh Avenue SW
                                         Calgary, Alberta T2P 0X8
                                         Telephone: 403-299-3562

For further information:

For further information: Kristen Higgins, Communications Officer,
E-mail:, Telephone: (403) 299-3371

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