Carolinas Demand Draws Proposals for Two New Pipes, One Expansion
The Carolinas are calling out for gas and so far three parties
First came the Palmetto Pipeline project, a joint venture of
Carolina Power & Light (CP&L) and Sonat. Next came Scana's
South Carolina Pipeline Corp. with a Carolinas proposal. And last
but not least is Williams-Transco with a proposed expansion called
Williams last week announced an open season through June 1 for
annual firm service to be created by Transco's Sundance. The
expansion would serve growing Southeast power generation,
residential and commercial markets and be in service by April 2002.
Sundance would expand the Transco system from Station 65 in
Louisiana to Station 165 in Virginia.
Williams said Sonat's Sundance expansion is positioned to serve
CP&L's recently announced gas-fired power plants, as well as
facilities providing gas to eastern North Carolina. Williams
recently said it wants to work with the Albermarle Regional Energy
Authority (AREA) to serve several counties in eastern North
Carolina that have not previously had gas service (see NGI April
12, 1999). Williams has proposed to jointly develop with AREA
transmission and distribution facilities to serve North Carolina
counties Camden, Currituck, Chowan, Pasquotank, and Perquimans.
Williams plans to apply for a portion of $200 million in bond funds
North Carolina is making available to foster gas infrastructure
"We believe that the Sundance Project will provide a more
cost-effective and reliable means of serving the growing power
generation markets in Alabama, Georgia, the Carolinas and southern
Virginia than any proposed greenfield pipeline project," said Cuba
Wadlington Jr., general manager Williams Gas Pipeline-Transco.
"Also, we expect this project will create opportunities to expand
local infrastructure, including the Cardinal Pipeline in North
Carolina and local distribution systems along the Transco system,
in order to optimize the utilization of these facilities. This will
ultimately benefit both electric and natural gas consumers
resulting in lower costs and encouraging economic development with
minimal impact to the environment."
Shippers may elect to subscribe to capacity from Station 65 in
Transco's Zone 3 or certain receipt points in Zone 4. Transco said
it intends to seek rolled-in rate treatment for project costs.
Meanwhile, Scana subsidiary South Carolina Pipeline Corp.
announced plans last week to build an extension off of its existing
1,900-mile intrastate line into North Carolina. The existing line
currently supplies gas to customers throughout much of South
Carolina and has direct connections with both the Transco and Sonat
The Palmetto Pipeline, with an open season running through May
31, is the one that started it all. The project has the backing of
CP&L, which plans to subscribe for a substantial portion of the
200 to 300 MMcf/d of proposed capacity. Sonat plans to expand its
system to accommodate Palmetto's growth in the form of additional
looping and compression.
Sonat spokesman Bruce Connery said the challenge from Scana and
Sundance was not unexpected. "It comes as no surprise. It's what we
fully expected to see. Obviously, these companies view the Palmetto
pipeline as a competitive threat, but we still believe our project
is competitive and the market will be able to evaluate its
The word last week from South Carolina Pipeline President Berry
Gibbes was "Our interstate pipeline project is a superior
alternative to the proposed Palmetto Pipeline.. We recommend that
any gas shipper who may be considering subscribing to firm capacity
on the proposed Palmetto Pipeline Project wait to compare our
alternative interstate pipeline before being locked into a more
costly service for up to 20 years."
Williams spokeswoman Amy Kiser touted Sundance's Virginia
connection as providing additional support for its project. Tying
in with CP&L's power plants is not critical to the project's
success, she said. "We're the most economic alternative."
Joe Fisher, Houston