Transco, the U.S. largest-volume and fastest-growing interstate natural gas pipeline system and a wholly owned subsidiary of Williams Partners L.P., has filed an application with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) seeking authorization for its Atlantic Sunrise expansion project. The new pipeline would carry about 1.7 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day from the Marcellus Shale area to markets in the Mid-Atlantic and Southeastern U.S.
“Atlantic Sunrise is a vital piece of North American energy infrastructure needed to transport low-cost, abundant supplies of natural gas from the Marcellus producing region in Pennsylvania to hungry markets along the Atlantic Seaboard,” said Rory Miller, senior vice president of Williams Partners’ Atlantic-Gulf operating area. “Shippers have signed long-term commitments for the expansion’s entire capacity, which represents enough natural gas to serve approximately 7 million homes.”
Williams expects to place Atlantic Sunrise into service in the second half of 2017 as part of $4.8 billion in transmission projects planned to come online through 2017. Atlantic Sunrise adds to the list of Transco’s projects to connect increasing supplies of domestic natural gas with strong demand centres on the Eastern Seaboard from New York City to the far Southeast.
The project consists of compression and looping of the Transco Leidy line in Pennsylvania and various locations along its mainline between Pennsylvania and South Carolina in addition to a greenfield pipeline segment, referred to as the Central Penn Line, connecting the northeastern Marcellus producing region to the Transco mainline near Station 195 in southeastern Pennsylvania. The greenfield segment will be jointly owned by Transco and a third party.
Williams Partners’ net investment in the Atlantic Sunrise project is expected to be approximately $2.1 billion.
Transco delivers natural gas to customers through its 10,200-mile pipeline network whose mainline extends nearly 1,800 miles between South Texas and New York City. The system is a major provider of natural gas services that reach U.S. markets in 12 Southeast and Atlantic Seaboard states, including major metropolitan areas in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
The new pipeline has attracted a lot of opposition among the affected landowners who are concerned about safety, environmental degradation, and property values along the proposed route.
“The construction and operation of the proposed facilities will not have a significant impact on human health or the environment,” the company wrote in reply. ”The public benefits of the project are far more substantial than the potential adverse effects.
Williams has asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to approve the project by April 2016, so it can meet its in-service target of July 2017.
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