Daily GPI / Regulatory / Regulatory / Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG)

Briefs -- Bear Head LNG, Philadelphia Gas Works

The planned Bear Head LNG project on the Strait of Canso in Nova Scotia has received final National Energy Board (NEB) approval to import U.S. natural gas and export liquefied natural gas (LNG) from the terminal. The NEB approval was previously issued in August 2015 (see Daily GPIAug. 17, 2015) but was subject to the approval of the Governor in Council, which was received Thursday, said Bear Head LNG Corp., a unit of Australia's Liquefied Natural Gas Ltd. Bear Head LNG has approval from the U.S. Department of Energy to export U.S.-sourced natural gas to nations with and without free trade agreements with the United States.

The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) this month approved a modified long-term infrastructure improvement plan (LTIIP) for Philadelphia Gas Works (PGW) -- the nation's largest municipally-owned gas utility -- that would significantly accelerate the replacement of its aging cast iron mains. The company's original LTIIP enabled it to spend $22 million annually to replace up to 18 miles of pipeline per year. A waiver granted by the PUC to increase the cap on its distribution system improvement charge for customers from 5% of billed revenues to 7.5% will allow it to increase its spending by $11 million per year. Under the former spending levels, PGW would have needed 86 years to replace all of its cast iron. With the increased spending, it would take 48 years. The PUC said in a staff report last year that PGW has the highest percentage of at-risk pipeline of any Pennsylvania gas utility "by at least a factor of two" (see Daily GPIApril 22, 2015).

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