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Spectra's Appalachia-Focused Nexus Filed at FERC

Spectra Energy Corp. applied at FERC on Friday for a certificate to construct the $2 billion, 1.5 million Dth/d Nexus Gas Transmission project, which would supply markets in Ohio, Michigan and the Dawn Hub in Ontario, Canada with natural gas from Appalachia.

In the United States, Nexus would traverse Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio and Michigan, terminating at the border between Michigan and Ontario. The Canadian portion would extend from the border to the Dawn Hub.

The project would relieve capacity constraints in the Marcellus and Utica shales and is supported by capacity commitments from producers as well as local distribution companies, Spectra said. "Nexus has also recently signed a number of interconnect agreements with industrial facilities and power generators...These agreements demonstrate support not only for the project, but the route as well," said Spectra's Bill Yardley, president of U.S. transmission and storage.

The greenfield portion of Nexus would extend from Utica East Ohio Midstream LLC's Kensington Processing Plant in Hanover Township, OH, to a new interconnection with the DTE Gas system west of Detroit in Washtenaw County, MI.

The remainder of the project, which Nexus would contract from third-party pipelines, would be composed of expansion capacity on the Texas Eastern system in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ohio; existing and expansion capacity on the DTE Gas system in southeastern Michigan and extending to the U.S.-Canada border; and existing capacity on the Vector U.S. system in southeastern Michigan and extending to the U.S.-Canada border.

Outside of the U.S., Nexus would contract for existing capacity on the Vector Pipeline LP system to provide service from the U.S.-Canada border to the Dawn Hub, Spectra told the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [CP16-22].

Nexus has agreements with seven shippers for a combined 835,000 Dth/d of the project's capacity. Spectra told FERC it expects additional capacity commitments to result from growing demand from power generators in the Midwest and for takeaway capacity demand in the Appalachian Basin.

Nexus has also had talks with potential shippers and end-users in Ohio and Michigan and has agreed to install multiple taps in Ohio that would result in about 1.4 million Dth/d of market interconnectivity for the project, Spectra said. "In addition, NEXUS is in discussions for up to 630,000 Dth/d of additional interconnectivity," the filing said.

Ohio market connections include Dominion East Ohio in Columbiana County; Dominion East Ohio in Wayne County; Brickyard Industrial Park; Urban Renewables II LLC in Medina County; Columbia Gas of Ohio Inc. in Medina County; NRG Power Midwest LP in Lorain County; the Board of Commissioners of Erie County, OH (Erie County Industrial Park) in Erie County; Dominion East Ohio in Erie County; Columbia Gas of Ohio Inc. in Sandusky County; The Waterville Gas and Oil Co. in Lucas County; and Ohio Gas Co. in Fulton County.

Nexus was prefiled at FERC in January (see Shale DailyJan. 9). The project has faced opposition in Ohio and requests for rerouting (see Shale DailyJune 19;March 30). In-service is targeted for Nov. 1, 2017.

The greenfield mainline would be about 255 miles of 36-inch diameter pipeline in Ohio and Michigan. About 45% of the proposed route is co-located with existing overhead power lines, pipeline or railroad utility corridors, Spectra said. An additional 42% crosses agricultural land. "As a result, 87 percent of the proposed pipeline route is sited to avoid conversion of existing land uses," Spectra said in the filing. "This route has been refined during the pre-file process based on consultation with affected stakeholders, evaluation of impacts to the environment, constructability requirements, safety regulations, and requirements to meet customer needs."

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