On Feb. 1, 2023, Enbridge Gas Inc. (“Enbridge Gas”) submitted a request to the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) to hold the leave-to-construct application for the Panhandle Regional Expansion project (the “project”) in abeyance until August 2023 to allow time to update project costs, the capacity position of the Panhandle System and customer demand forecasts (OEB Case No. EB-2022-0157). This will ensure the efficient expansion of natural gas facilities in the region.

The proposed Project is a transmission project that will help meet forecast demand within a large area of benefit and will supply the distribution networks which directly serve end-use customers. No customers will be directly connected to the proposed transmission facilities.

Enbridge Gas is conducting this second Expression of Interest and a concurrent Binding Reverse Open Season to reconfirm market demand in the Panhandle market area. It is important that in the contemplation of any bid, customers fully consider opportunities that may reduce their firm demand requirements, including Demand Side Management, interruptible rates, and alternative sources of energy.

Information received during this process will inform Enbridge Gas as to whether any changes to the project are required.

Enbridge Gas is also requesting that customers expressing interest in new firm capacity provide additional information regarding their request to support the updates to the Project application that will be filed later this year.

Non-Binding Expression of Interest:

Enbridge Gas is once again inviting all large volume commercial, industrial, power generation and greenhouse customers to submit non-binding bids to express interest in new capacity (relative to their existing contracted capacity). For clarity, any customers who participated in Enbridge Gas’ 2021 Non-Binding Expression of Interest should submit a new bid form as part of this Expression of Interest for the full amount of additional capacity required in 2024 and beyond. Unless Enbridge Gas receives a new bid form, the company will assume that no new capacity is required. The purpose of this Expression of Interest is to gather large volume customer input to generate an informed forecast that identifies the location, timing and magnitude of customer growth. Large volume customers are those consuming at least 50,000 m3/year or more. Small volume customers interested in capacity should submit their request via the GetConnected website.

The information gathered through the Expression of Interest process will be used to confirm and evaluate the alternatives with the potential to meet the demands and timing identified.

Depending on customer location, additional local reinforcement may also be required to serve new and existing customers in this developing area.

Existing customers should submit only one bid form for each site. Existing customers or potential new customers contemplating an expansion on a new site/address should submit a bid form for each new site/address.

Enbridge Gas will consider the size and location of all requests for new capacity in designing the optimal facilities. If there is insufficient net customer interest, or if economic approval is not forthcoming, the Project is unlikely to proceed as proposed herein.

Depending upon market interest received, the Project will create capacity for the following services:

  • New firm distribution service
  • Conversion of existing interruptible distribution service to firm service
  • New interruptible distribution service

Binding Reverse Open Season:

Concurrent with this process to express interest in new or incremental capacity, all existing contract rate class customers in the area of benefit are being offered the opportunity to “turn back” or de-contract their capacity via a concurrent Binding Reverse Open Season. Customers also have the option to convert existing firm distribution service to interruptible service.

Any capacity turned back by customers through the Binding Reverse Open Season will be used to minimize any facilities deemed to be required to serve incremental demand.

This Expression of Interest and Binding Reverse Open Season process will close by, and completed bid forms are due no later than, 12:00 p.m. EDT on Thursday April 6, 2023.

Service Description and Details

  1. As this project requires a significant capital investment by Enbridge Gas, the term of customers’ associated natural gas distribution contracts will be no less than five years and not to exceed 20 years; and/or may include upfront payments for capacity and/or negotiated rates above those currently approved and posted by the OEB to support the cost of constructing customer-specific distribution related facilities. The facilities, rates and services included in this Expression of Interest are subject to OEB approval and sufficient interest being received to justify the Project. To ensure the continued efficient expansion of natural gas facilities in the region, the final scope of the proposed Project facilities will be informed by the demand forecast that results in part from this Expression of Interest process.
  2. Submitting an Expression of Interest form:
    If you wish to participate in this Expression of Interest relating to the Panhandle Regional Expansion Project, please complete, sign and return the attached non-binding Expression of Interest Bid Form via email to Economic.Development@enbridge.com. Completed bid forms must be returned by email on or before 12 p.m. EDT on Thursday April 6, 2023.

Map of proposed project service area

The map below outlines the area that is under consideration for a potential project to expand natural gas capacity. All potential large volume commercial, greenhouse, industrial or power generation customers considering developments within this area over the next five to ten years are encouraged to participate in this Non-Binding Expression of Interest.

Panhandle Regional Expansion Project Map 

Expression of Interest Process and Bid Form

This process is designed to gauge market demand in the Panhandle market area and to assist Enbridge Gas with determining the optimal facility requirements to meet market needs. Enbridge Gas will acknowledge receipt of all bid forms by email on or before the end of day on Tuesday, April 11, 2023. Enbridge Gas in its sole discretion reserves the right to reject any and all bids received.

Any suggested contractual condition(s) precedent that the customer proposes should be clearly articulated and attached to the bid form.

Successful bidders will then be asked to commit to the capacity by executing a letter of indemnity or an Enbridge Gas distribution contract to more formally support the need for the Project. Any updates to the EOI process or timelines will be posted online here.

Expression of interest bid form

Binding reverse open season process and bid form

Concurrent with this process to express interest in new or incremental capacity, all existing contract rate class customers in the area of benefit are being offered the opportunity to “turn back” or de-contract their capacity via a concurrent Binding Reverse Open Season. Customers also have the option to convert existing firm distribution service to interruptible service.

Any suggested contractual condition(s) precedent that the customer proposes should be clearly articulated and attached to the bid form.

Reverse open season bid form

Questions & contact information

If you have any questions about the Panhandle Regional Expansion Project, please contact your account manager or one of the following:

Patrick Boyer
Account Manager
Cell: 519-436-4915
Patrick.Boyer@enbridge.com
Awais Zulfiqar
Account Manager
Cell: 519-784-6567
Awais.Zulfiqar@enbridge.com
Matt Ciupka
Economic Development Specialist
Cell: 519-784-3919
Matt.Ciupka@enbridge.com

Previous Binding Reverse Open Season (September 2021)

In September 2021, we held a follow up Binding Reverse Open Season to offer all existing distribution contract customers the opportunity to “turn back” or de-contract existing firm or interruptible capacity in the Area of Benefit for the proposed Panhandle Regional Expansion Project.

Read more about the previous reverse open season

Previous Expression of Interest and Reverse Open Season (March 2021)

In March 2021,we held an Expression of Interest to serve a growing demand for natural gas across all sectors in Essex County, including Windsor, LaSalle, Amherstburg, Tecumseh, Essex, Leamington, Lakeshore, Kingsville, and in western Chatham-Kent.

Read more about the previous expression of interest