FPL, FGT Alliance Anchors Florida Pipeline Expansion
Where there's new power generation these days, there usually is
natural gas. And Florida will add almost 11,000 MW of power over
the next eight years, according to a recent report by the state's
utilities. Power demand is soaring in the state, particularly in
the southwestern portion, where currently there are no gas
pipelines. That's going to change soon, however.
The state's only interstate gas trunkline, Florida Gas
Transmission, announced plans last week for its fourth expansion
since going into service. The cornerstone of the new project is a
100-mile southern extension to Fort Myers from existing facilities
Florida Power & Light plans to add 2,500 MW of gas-fired
power, the majority of which will be added at its existing Fort
Myers generation plant. The plant will undergo a major repowering
over the next three years that will triple its capacity through the
addition of new gas-fired turbines. By 2001, FPL expects to need
more than 180 MMcf/d of additional gas supply to fuel the 1,400 MW
FGT plans to build about 100 miles of new 24- or 30-inch
diameter pipeline for the Fort Myers plant alone. "This is a major
part of our Phase 4 expansion," said FGT President Rockford G.
Meyer. "We're negotiating with a number of other shippers to be
included in this. There will be some upstream looping and maybe
some upstream compression along our existing line. We will have the
rest of this expansion included in our FERC filing to be made on
Meyer said the pipeline will begin holding town meetings in
October to come up with a mutually beneficial route. "Our team will
be looking at potential routes that minimize environmental and
public impact and, wherever possible, follow existing linear
facilities such as power lines, highways and railroads."
FGT held an open season last year to test the market for new
capacity and so far eight shippers have expressed interest in
275,000 Dth/d of capacity. FGT estimates 55,000 Dth/d of that will
be provided with existing capacity that is turned back by other
shippers. Meyer said the company will be talking with potential
customers over the next few months to gauge interest in additional
capacity to be added in a fifth phase.
FGT, a subsidiary of Citrus Corp., which is owned by Sonat and
Enron, expects to begin construction on the Phase 4 expansion in
the first quarter of 2000 to meet the phased start-up of the
repowered Fort Myers facility in early 2001. FGT's system currently
has a capacity to transport 1.4 Bcf/d of gas.
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