Palomar Gas Transmission Files Application for a Certificate to Build Pipeline in Oregon

PORTLAND, OREGON--(Marketwire - Dec. 11, 2008) - Palomar Gas Transmission LLC, a joint venture of TransCanada Corporation (TSX:TRP) (NYSE:TRP) (TransCanada) and Northwest Natural Gas Company (NYSE:NWN) (NW Natural) today filed an application with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for a certificate to build and operate an interstate natural gas transmission pipeline in Oregon.

If the certificate application is approved by FERC by the end of 2009, Palomar could begin construction in 2010 with a target in-service date of November 2011. Palomar would be only the second interstate gas transmission pipeline to serve customers in Oregon's Willamette Valley and southwest Washington State.

"This project would greatly enhance service reliability to NW Natural's 655,000 residential, commercial, and industrial customers," said Keith White, vice president and chief strategic officer for NW Natural. "The prospect of tapping additional sources of natural gas through Palomar would help mitigate the impact of future price volatility on NW Natural's customers."

The proposed Palomar Gas Transmission is a 217-mile, 36-inch-diameter pipeline extending from the Gas Transmission Northwest (GTN) pipeline, a TransCanada-owned pipeline in central Oregon, to a point on the Columbia River northwest of Portland. The pipeline as proposed would be capable of transporting up to 1.3 billion cubic feet a day (Bcf/d) of natural gas.

The seven Oregon counties the proposed pipeline would traverse would realize an aggregate increase in property taxes of several million dollars annually. The proposed project would create an estimated 275 temporary jobs in 2010 and more than 1,800 construction jobs during 2011.

Palomar would provide NW Natural with additional access to the interstate pipeline grid via an interconnect near the town of Molalla southeast of Portland. As proposed, Palomar would also connect with facilities of the proposed Bradwood Landing Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) terminal in Clatsop County. Access to LNG would provide Oregon with a completely new source of natural gas supply.

The application is available from FERC via its website, www.ferc.gov. Paper copies of the application will be available in public libraries along the proposed pipeline route. A list of those libraries is available on the Palomar website, www.palomargas.com. more than 50 years' experience, TransCanada is a leader in the responsible development and reliable operation of North American energy infrastructure including natural gas pipelines, power generation, gas storage facilities, and projects related to oil pipelines and LNG facilities. TransCanada's network of wholly owned pipelines extends more than 59,000 kilometres (36,500 miles), tapping into virtually all major gas supply basins in North America. TransCanada is one of the continent's largest providers of gas storage and related services with approximately 370 billion cubic feet of storage capacity. A growing independent power producer, TransCanada owns, or has interests in, over 10,900 megawatts of power generation in Canada and the United States. Gas Transmission Northwest system, headquartered in Portland, has been operating in Oregon since 1961.

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NW Natural, also headquartered in Portland, is the largest independent natural gas utility in the Pacific Northwest, serving approximately 655,000 home, business, and industrial customers in Oregon and southwest Washington.

FORWARD-LOOKING INFORMATION

This news release may contain certain information that is forward looking and is subject to important risks and uncertainties. The words "anticipate", "expect", "may", "should", "estimate", "project", "outlook", "forecast" or other similar words are used to identify such forward-looking information. All forward-looking statements reflect TransCanada's beliefs and assumptions based on information available at the time the statements were made. Actual results or events may differ from those predicted in these forward-looking statements. Factors which could cause actual results or events to differ materially from current expectations include, among other things, the ability of TransCanada to successfully implement its strategic initiatives and whether such strategic initiatives will yield the expected benefits, the operating performance of the Company's pipeline and energy assets, the availability and price of energy commodities, regulatory processes and decisions, changes in environmental and other laws and regulations, competitive factors in the pipeline and energy industry sectors, construction and completion of capital projects, labor, equipment and material costs, access to capital markets, interest and currency exchange rates, technological developments and the current economic conditions in North America. By its nature, such forward-looking information is subject to various risks and uncertainties, which could cause TransCanada's actual results and experience to differ materially from the anticipated results or expectations expressed. Additional information on these and other factors is available in the reports filed by TransCanada with Canadian securities regulators and with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on this forward-looking information, which is given as of the date it is expressed in this news release or otherwise, and to not use future-oriented information or financial outlooks for anything other than their intended purpose. TransCanada undertakes no obligation to update publicly or revise any forward-looking information, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by law.

The results or events predicted in this information may differ from actual results or events. Factors which could cause actual results or events to differ materially from current expectations include, among other things, the ability of Palomar Gas Transmission to obtain the needed permits, gather landowner approvals, complete any needed financing , and the typical construction risks inherent in pipeline projects for materials and labor availability.

This release and other information made by NW Natural from time to time may contain forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. Forward-looking statements include statements concerning plans, objectives, goals, estimates, strategies, future events or performance, and other statements that are other than statements of historical facts. NW Natural's expectations, beliefs and projections are expressed in good faith and are believed to have a reasonable basis. However, each such forward-looking statement involves uncertainties and is qualified in its entirety by reference to the factors in Part I, Item 1A, "Risk Factors," and "Forward-Looking Statements" following Part II, Item 7A, in the company's 2007 Annual Report on Form 10-K, and in Part I, Item 3, "Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures about Market Risk," "Forward-Looking Statements" following Part I, Item 2, and Part II, Item IA, "Risk Factors" in the company's quarterly financial statements, that could cause the actual results of the company to differ materially from those projected in such forward-looking statements.

All subsequent forward-looking statements, whether written or oral and whether made by or on behalf of TransCanada or NW Natural, also are expressly qualified by these cautionary statements. Any forward-looking statement speaks only as of the date on which such statement is made, and the companies undertake no obligation to update any forward-looking statement to reflect events or circumstances after the date on which such statement is made or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events. New factors emerge from time to time and it is not possible for the companies to predict all such factors, nor can they assess the impact of each such factor or the extent to which any factor, or combination of factors, may cause results to differ materially from those contained in any forward-looking statement.
 

Media Inquiries:
TransCanada
Cecily Dobson
(403) 920-7859 or (800) 608-7859
or
Analyst & Investor Inquiries:
TransCanada
David Moneta/Myles Dougan/Terry Hook
(403) 920-7911 or (800) 361-6522
or
Analyst & Investor Inquiries:
NW Natural
Bob Hess
(503) 220-2388