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Millennium Requests FERC Approval of ESU Project

Millennium Pipeline Co. LLC has asked FERC to issue permits for its proposed Eastern System Upgrade (ESU) project, which would provide an additional 223,000 Dth/d of firm transportation service to local distribution companies (LDC) and municipalities in New York State.

Millennium filed an abbreviated application for a certificate of public convenience and necessity with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission last Friday [CP16-486]. The ESU project calls for construction of approximately 7.8 miles of 30- and 36-inch diameter looping pipeline in Orange County, most of which will be built either overlapping or adjacent to the existing pipeline right-of-way. Millennium will also build a new Highland Compressor Station, with 22,400 hp, in Sullivan County.

The ESU project also calls for adding 22,400 hp to Millennium's existing Hancock Compressor Station in Delaware County; modifications to the existing Ramapo Meter and Regulation (M&R) Station in Rockland County; modifications to the Wagoner Interconnect in Orange County; additional pipeline appurtenant facilities at the existing Huguenot and Westtown M&R stations in Orange County, and an alternate interconnect to the 16-inch Valley Lateral at milepost 7.6 of the project.

"The new capacity on Millennium's system will allow the project shippers to obtain reliable, low-cost natural gas from diverse supply sources by taking advantage of the numerous interconnections with other interstate pipelines, large storage natural gas facilities, and production sources," Millennium said in its filing, later adding "the benefits of the ESU project far outweigh any potential adverse impacts."

Millennium requested that FERC grant the authorizations by July 31, 2017. The company hopes to begin construction in the fall of 2017 to meet a targeted in-service date in September 2018.

According to documents filed with FERC, most of the 223,000 Dth/d of new capacity from the project (202,500 Dth/d) is already subscribed under long-term firm contracts with LDCs and municipalities. Millennium is currently marketing the remaining 20,500 Dth/d of capacity.

Last May, FERC announced that its staff would prepare an environmental assessment for the ESU project (see Daily GPIMay 11). Millennium is owned by subsidiaries of Columbia Pipeline Group Inc., National Grid plc and DTE Energy Co.

New York State has thrown up regulatory barriers to other pipeline projects in the region.

Despite FERC approval for the Constitution Pipeline, the New York Department of Environmental Conservation refused to issue a critical water permit for the project. Constitution's backers have since filed an appeal with the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit (see Shale Daily, May 16March 20, 2015Dec. 3, 2014).

Meanwhile, FERC has also denied a request by the administration of Gov. Andrew Cuomo to halt construction of the Algonquin Incremental Project, over the state's concerns that it could interfere with a troubled nuclear power plant adjacent to the pipeline's route (see Daily GPIMarch 29).

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