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FERC Approves FGT Expansion

FERC last Thursday approved, with conditions, Florida Gas Transmission's (FGT) $2.45 billion Phase VIII Expansion Project to serve gas-fired power generators and utilities in Florida.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) imposed 43 conditions requiring FGT to mitigate adverse environmental impacts. The project received a favorable environmental review in April (see NGI, April 20); it was proposed one year ago (see NGI, Nov. 24, 2008).

In its Phase VIII Expansion Project, FGT is to add more than 483 miles of pipeline loops, laterals and mainline and install 213,600 hp of compression at eight existing and one new compressor stations. The company also will acquire the existing 22.7-mile Martin Lateral, currently owned by Florida Power & Light Co. (FPL), which will serve power plants located in Manatee, Martin, Miami-Dade and Suwannee counties, FL. The Phase VIII Expansion is intended to create 820,000 MMBtu/d of capacity on FGT's system from Alabama to Florida.

FGT is to initiate service in two phases. Phase 1 facilities are scheduled to begin service by July 1 and involve construction and operation of the Manatee Lateral and the FPL Manatee Metering and Regulating Station to serve FPL's Manatee Power Plant.

Phase 2 service is scheduled to start by April 1, 2011 and involves construction and operation of the remaining Phase VIII Expansion facilities.

FGT proposes to transport gas to five other shippers: Florida Power Corp./Progress Energy Florida Inc.; Seminole Electric Cooperative Inc.; Tampa Electric Co.; the Orlando Utilities Commission; and the City of Tallahassee.

The 5,000-mile FGT system is one of two pipelines serving Florida -- with the other being Gulfstream Natural Gas System.

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