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WB XPress NatGas Expansion Across West Virginia, Virginia Gets FERC Nod

Columbia Gas Transmission LLC's WB XPress Project was issued a FERC certificate Friday to allow a 1.3 Bcf/d expansion in West Virginia and Virginia to move forward.

The TransCanada Corp. subsidiary filed with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in January 2016 for a certificate to build WB XPress. The project received a favorable environmental assessment in March. The project proposes constructing roughly 3.1 miles of pipeline and 26.2 miles of replacement pipeline across West Virginia and Virginia.

Columbia would also build a 31,800 hp compressor station in Kanawha County, WV, and a 8,000 hp station in Fairfax County, VA, and add compression at several existing facilities, among other upgrades.

According to TransCanada, WB XPress, which would add 1.3 Bcf/d of bi-directional firm transportation service from western West Virginia to northern Virginia, "will significantly improve the service and flexibility of interstate natural gas delivery" across the two states.

Columbia held an open season for WB XPress in 2014 and has secured precedent agreements with a local distribution company and two producers for the full capacity.

TransCanada submitted a request last week for "prompt action" from the Commission on the expansion, which was among the projects that had to wait out FERC's quorumless stretch earlier this year.

After a similar request filed Aug. 30 failed to prompt a certificate decision, TransCanada said the extended review process "has already caused significant delays to the western build portion of the project" and pushed back the expected in-service date "by as much as six months" from the previous June 2018 target.

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