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FGT Files for Expansion to Carry Elba Island LNG

Florida Gas Transmission Co. (FGT) has filed an application with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for a 160 MMcf/d expansion downstream of an interconnect with the proposed Cypress Pipeline Project, which would bring regasified LNG to Florida from El Paso's Elba Island LNG import terminal near Savannah, GA.

The proposed project, FGT's Phase VII expansion, calls for FGT to build 33 miles of 36-inch diameter pipeline looping in several segments along an existing right-of-way and install 9,800 hp of compression. The project is expected to be in service in May 2007.

The filing follows an announcement on the Cypress pipeline in June by El Paso Corp.'s Southern Natural Gas pipeline company. Southern resurrected the 220 MMcf/d Cypress Pipeline about five years after is was initially proposed (see NGI, May 1, 2000). The pipeline would extend 176 miles from Elba Island to Jacksonville, FL.

The increased gas supplies in Florida will fuel Progress Energy's 461 MW Hines 4 combined-cycle generation facilities in Bartow, FL. Progress Energy, which has distribution utilities in Florida and the Carolinas, has entered into a 20-year, $3.3 billion agreement with Southern Natural and FGT, as transportation providers, and with BG LNG Services to supply the LNG.

BG Group, parent of BG LNG Services, holds the rights to the existing capacity at Elba Island terminal, which includes 675 MMcf/d of throughput capacity and 4 Bcf of storage capacity.

"The Phase VII expansion project will provide Florida Gas access to an additional source of natural gas supply for our customers," said Bob Hayes, FGT senior vice president. FGT operates a 5,000-mile natural gas pipeline system extending from South Texas to South Florida with mainline capacity of 2.1 Bcf/d. It is a subsidiary of Citrus Corp. which is 50% owned by Southern Union Co. and El Paso Corp.

A joint venture of Southern Union and GE Commercial Finance Energy Financial Services bought the CrossCountry Energy pipelines, including Transwestern Pipeline and the 50% share of Citrus, from the creditors of the bankrupt Enron Corp. almost a year ago (see NGI, Nov. 22, 2004).

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