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DTE Files For Pipeline to Serve NatGas Power Plant in Pennsylvania

DTE Midstream Appalachia LLC has filed with FERC requesting approval to begin the pre-filing environmental review process for a 14-mile pipeline that would supply a 488 MW natural gas-fired power plant in Southeast Pennsylvania.

The pipeline would be up to 16 inches in diameter and have capacity to deliver 79,000 Dth/d to the power plant in Birdsboro, PA, which is being developed by Birdsboro Power LLC, a subsidiary of Houston-based Ember Partners LP. DTE has entered a precedent agreement with Birdsboro Power as the project's sole customer.

DTE requests in its filing that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approve the request so it can begin the pre-filing process by October 25. Birdsboro Power is aiming for a May 2018 in-service date. DTE said in order to have the pipeline operational by that time it needs to file a certificate application by May and have FERC approve the project by December 2017. It would start construction early in 2018.

DTE's new pipeline would have one receipt point with Texas Eastern Transmission LP in Oley Township, PA. From there, it would deliver gas directly to the new power plant in Birdsboro, which is in Berks County. The plant would be on the site of a former steel foundry. DTE said the pipeline would directly affect 29 landowners and 39 tracts. It has been granted survey permission along the entire right-of-way.

Birdsboro Power received an air quality permit earlier this year. The subsidiary was formed by EmberClear Corp., which filed for bankruptcy and over the summer transferred its assets to affiliate Ember Partners. The company is also developing a 485 MW gas-fired power plant in Lackawanna County, PA, and it sold a 337 MW gas-fired plant under development in Schuylkill County, PA, to Japan-based Itochu Corp. last year (see Daily GPIOct. 14).

Those facilities are part of the more than two-dozen gas-fired power plants that the state has approved since 2012, when announcements began of the projects to use the region's Marcellus and Utica shale gas for power generation.

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