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Transco Seeks OK for Hillabee Expansion to Sabal Trail

Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line (Transco) is seeking FERC's OK to expand its natural gas pipeline system in Alabama by 1.13 million Dth/d by 2021 to serve a growing gas appetite in the Southeast.

In a filing with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), the Williams Partner LP pipeline said the Hillabee Expansion Project would be built in three phases, with the first in service as soon as May 2017.

"By maximizing the use of our existing transmission corridor, our goal is to minimize the impact on property owners and the environment while serving the growing demand for natural gas in the southeast," said Transco General Manager Frank Ferazzi. "The Hillabee project is yet another incremental expansion to the Transco system to better connect the growing supply of North American natural gas with the best markets."

As designed, the additional system would provide incremental firm capacity in Alabama from receipt points at Station 85 in Choctaw County to a proposed interconnection in Tallapoosa County with the Sabal Trail Transmission LLC, a joint venture of Spectra Energy and Nextra Energy Inc. Sabal Trail is to acquire all of the capacity in a long-term lease, according to Transco.

Hillabee, to be built in three phases, could add a total of 1.13 million Dth/d of capacity to the Transco system by May 2021. The proposal includes 43 miles of additional pipe segments, or loops, to be built in Alabama, as well as a compressor facility in Choctaw County. Modifications to existing compressor stations and valve sites also are planned.

Last year, Transco asked FERC to initiate a pre-filing review of Hillabee, with the initial phase providing 818 MMcf/d by May 2017, followed by 206 MMcf/d in May 2020 and 106 MMcf/d in May 2021 (see Daily GPINov. 5, 2013).

FPL, Florida's largest power company, issued a request for proposals for a gas pipeline in December 2012, and Sabal Trail was the winning bidder in July (see Daily GPIJuly 29, 2013). As envisioned, the pipe would travel from Tallapoosa County through Georgia and terminate at the Central Florida Hub near Orlando.

The 465-mile pipeline would have the capacity to transport more than 1 Bcf/d to serve local distribution companies, industrial users and natural gas-fired power generators.

The Hillabee expansion is included in Transco's growth projects through 2017, which together are to total $4.5 billion in capital spending, the Tulsa-based partnership noted.

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