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Adelphia Requests FERC OK to Expand NatGas Pipe to Philadelphia, Northeast Markets

New Jersey Resources Corp. subsidiary Adelphia Gateway LLC has asked FERC for a certificate of public convenience and necessity to operate an existing pipeline system that it acquired for expansion last year to serve growing natural gas demand in Philadelphia and beyond.

Part of the pipeline is already moving gas to two power plants in Northampton County, PA, but Adelphia wants to repurpose the southern segment to move more. The system once delivered oil to a refinery near Philadelphia.

Adelphia wants to terminate the system’s Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission certificate for oil transport service and operate the pipeline as an open-access transporter under the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s jurisdiction. It is also requesting a blanket certificate as the company has never provided interstate service. 

“In addition to maintaining service to the existing shippers to provide supplies to the existing power plants, the Adelphia Gateway Pipeline is well positioned to expand service to natural gas consumers in Pennsylvania and to consumers in the growing markets in the Northeast,” the company wrote in its application.

Existing facilities include an 84-mile stretch of 18-inch diameter mainline from Northampton County to Delaware County, PA; a 4.4 mile stretch of 20-inch diameter mainline; and associated facilities. The facilities proposed include two compressor stations, lateral pipelines, meter/regulator facilities and associated equipment. The 34-mile northern segment of the pipeline now delivers gas to the power plants.

Once expanded, Adelphia said the system would consist of three zones. Zone North A would consist of 34.5 miles of 18-inch mainline extending north from an existing interconnection with Texas Eastern Transmission LP in Bucks County, PA, to the Martins Creek Terminal in Lower Mount Bethel Township, PA, in Northampton County. Zone North B would consist of the 20-inch mainline that extends north from an existing interconnection with Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Co. LLC in Northampton County. Zone South would consist of 50 miles of 18-inch mainline extending south from a new interconnection with Texas Eastern in Bucks County to Marcus Hook, PA.

Two 16-inch diameter laterals would run a short distance from a compressor station in Marcus Hook to interconnections in Chester, PA, and to New Castle County in Delaware. 

The system has been designed to move 175,000 Dth/d on Zone North A, 350,000 Dth/d on Zone North B and 250,000 Dth/d on Zone South. Adelphia has requested FERC authorization by Aug. 1 and is targeting an in-service date of early 2019.

NJR acquired the pipeline from Talen Energy Corp. for $189 million. Under the sale agreement, the 34-mile northern segment, which was converted to deliver gas in 1996, would continue supplying Talen’s Martins Creek and Lower Mount Bethel power plants. NJR completed a binding open season last month, when it received bids for more than double the initial offered capacity.

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