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PNGTS Files For Second Phase of Portland XPress Project

Portland Natural Gas Transmission System (PNGTS) has filed at FERC for the second phase of its proposed Portland XPress Project (PXP), which would expand natural gas transportation and import/export capacity on its system in New England by winter 2018/2019.

In a filing Monday, PNGTS asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for a certificate of public convenience and necessity to increase by 11,321 Mcf/d the certified capacity on its jointly-owned system from Westbrook, ME, to Dracut, MA, and for approval of a lease agreement between PNGTS and Maritimes & Northeast Pipelines LLC (MNE) [CP18-479].

The company said the proposal would involve "no construction or modifications to its existing system or border crossing facilities" and requested that FERC sign off by March 31, 2019, to allow time for the project to be placed into service by Nov. 1, 2019.

PNGTS filed at FERC last month seeking authorization to to add 39,841 Mcf/d of capacity on its wholly-owned north system from Pittsburg, NH, to Westbrook, ME [CP18-251]. At that time, the operator said it wanted to add 1,641 Mcf/d on the Westbrook to Dracut, MA system. In the same application, PNGTS proposed raising its import and export capacity across the border with Canada from 210,000 Mcf/d to 274,216 Mcf/d and asked for an amendment to its Presidential Permit to reflect the increase.

The PNGTS system, which extends 295 miles from Pittsburg, at the U.S./Canada border, to Dracut, is divided into two parts: the north facilities and the joint facilities. The north facilities consist of 142 miles of mainline from an interconnection with Trans-Quebec & Maritimes Pipeline Inc. at the U.S./Canada border to Westbrook, and two laterals that are wholly-owned and operated by PNGTS. The joint facilities consist of approximately 101 miles of mainline from Westbrook to Dracut, and three laterals that are jointly owned by PNGTS and MNE.

In response to growing market demand in the region, PNGTS placed into service Dec. 1 the Continent to Coast Expansion (C2C), which was designed to move gas from the Wright Hub in Wright, NY, to New England, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, at a combined, fixed transportation rate of $1.37/Dth.

"Similar to the C2C Project, the PXP project will provide access to, and allow for the transport of, natural gas supplies from key North American supply basins such as Marcellus, Utica and others via TransCanada PipeLines Limited," PNGTS said in its application. "With the PXP Project, Atlantic Canada markets will be able to transport on PNGTS to an existing interconnection with MNE at Westbrook, ME. Shippers moving natural gas farther south into New England will have the ability to transport on PNGTS to existing interconnections with other New England natural gas pipelines at Dracut and Haverhill, MA."

The operationally available capacity and lease agreement requested in Phase II of the project will be utilized on an interim basis and are anticipated to be superseded by a planned third phase, scheduled to be in service by Nov. 1, 2020. Phase III would bring an incremental 24,375 Mcf/d to New England through the addition of a compressor unit on the joint facilities at the existing Eliot Compressor Station, modifications at the Westbrook Compressor Station and the Dracut Meter Station, and an increased pressure commitment with TQM Pipeline at the U.S./Canada Border.

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