Columbia Plans Expansion to Serve Tidewater VA, NC
Growing demand and limited gas transportation capacity in the
Tidewater area of southeastern Virginia, northeastern North
Carolina and southeastern Maryland prompted Columbia Gas
Transmission to test the market for a pipeline expansion in that
Columbia is holding a two-month open season to assess interest
in the proposed Homestead Expansion Project, which would provide
firm transportation services to the company's operating areas one
and 10, which include the tidewater area. The open season started
Nov. 17 and will close Jan. 19.
"Southeastern Virginia is one of the most heavily constrained
areas on our system," said David Pentzien, vice president of market
development for Columbia Gas Transmission. "Over the past several
months, we have received several inquiries relating to firm
transportation service capacity availability in this region and we
believe significant demand for new capacity is concentrated in this
region. We expect the response to this open season will be further
proof of the increased natural gas demand we are experiencing
throughout Virginia markets."
Michael Strauss, Columbia Gas Transmission's manager of market
development, said the project also is intended to compete with
pipeline expansions proposed by Dominion Transmission and Duke
Energy. Duke's Patriot project would extend the East Tennessee
system into North Carolina, while Dominion's Greenbrier project
would extend from West Virginia to North Carolina.
"Ours is a little farther east of where these guys are" but all
three projects are targeting new power generation load as well as
general market growth in the area. "Serving a new power plant is
just like adding a new LDC in one shot," said Strauss.
"This past summer our pipeline was interrupted in this area
pretty much all summer," he noted. "We're seeing just an extreme
amount of development from power plants. We're getting quite a few
calls from new developers and LDCs as well.
"The real tight constraint is on what we call the old
Commonwealth Gas Pipeline intrastate system, which extends down to
the Norfolk and Virginia Beach area. But we've also had requests
from Maryland too."
Columbia will evaluate nominations for service under various
rate schedules, including Firm Transportation Service (FTS), Firm
Storage Service (FSS) and Storage Service Transportation (SST). It
also will consider requests for summer (April-October) and winter
(November-March) seasonal services.
Interested parties are invited to submit a bid package, which
may be obtained from Columbia's Navigator electronic bulletin board
(www.columbianavigator.com), or by contacting Michael Strauss at
(703)-227-3364 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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