Transco Seeks State Funds for Expansion
Williams told the North Carolina Utilities Commission Wednesday
it may seek contribution from North Carolina's $200 million of new
natural gas bond funds to provide natural gas from its Transco
pipeline to five counties in northeastern North Carolina.
Williams' Transco pipeline, which has provided transportation
service to North Carolina for nearly 50 years, advised the
commission it has submitted a proposal to the Albemarle Regional
Energy Authority (AREA) for a joint venture in developing gas
transmission and distribution facilities in Camden, Currituck,
Chowan, Pasquotank and Perquimans counties.
The North Carolina Utilities Commission recently directed
parties interested in seeking state bond funds to file non-binding
notices of interest with the commission. Williams will make a
formal presentation of its proposal to AREA leaders Monday.
Gisele Rankin, an attorney with the public staff of the North
Carolina Utilities Commission, said Williams-Transco is one of
seven companies giving notice to the commission regarding the bond
money. The others are North Carolina Natural Gas Corp., Carolina
Power & Light Co., Frontier Energy, AREA itself, the City of
Elizabeth City (which is not eligible to receive any of the money),
and Public Service Co. of North Carolina Inc. (which only filed to
reserve its right to express interest later).
The money was approved by North Carolina voters in November in a
referendum that included monies for water and sewer improvements.
"We've got a long history of trying to expand the gas
infrastructure in the state," Rankin said. "A third of our counties
were un-served in 1990."
The statute that creates the funding says money is to go to
areas that are "un-sourced" for natural gas. Companies are eligible
to receive amounts only to the extent they offset projects'
negative net present values as determined by commission studies.
Rankin said hearings to determine recipients could take place in
The Transco notice to the commission says "due to the
preliminary nature of Transco's discussions with AREA, the exact
nature and extent of Transco's work with AREA is still
undetermined." However, the notice also says Williams is "committed
to providing every feasible assistance to AREA or other entities
seeking to provide natural gas to northeastern North Carolina."
".[T]his venture would create an opportunity for industrial and
electric generation facilities to locate in these counties," said
Cuba Wadlington Jr., general manager of Houston-based
Williams-Transco. "In addition to providing an economical source of
energy for the residents of northeast North Carolina, our proposal
could enhance the overall economic development in this area."
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