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Tennessee Asks FERC For Orion Project Approval by Jan. 31

Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co. LLC (TGP) has asked FERC to approve by the end of this month plans for a looping project on its 300 Line that would serve growing demand in the Middle Atlantic and New England regions with additional service from Susquehanna County, PA, to Pike County, PA.

In a filing with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Friday, TGP said it needs FERC to issue a certificate by Jan. 31 for it to be in a position to begin construction on schedule to meet a planned June 1, 2018 in-service date for the 135,000 Dth/d expansion.

"Tennessee has worked diligently with affected landowners, as well as state and local officials, to acquire the necessary additional permanent right-of-way and temporary workspaces for the construction and operation of the [Orion] Project facilities, and other necessary permits and authorizations," TGP said in the filing. "Without the receipt of the certificate order soon, though, Tennessee will not have sufficient time to complete tree clearing on the right-of-way during the narrow environmental windows for clearing of the right-of-way, including restrictions to comply with the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918."

TGP filed at FERC for the looping project 15 months ago, with authorization at that time requested by Nov. 1, 2016 to allow for construction to start during the first quarter of 2017 [CP16-4].

Orion would be composed of three components: construction of a 36-inch, 8.23-mile pipeline loop along the 300 Line in Wayne and Pike counties, PA (Loop 322); construction of a 36-inch diameter, 4.68-mile loop along the 300 Line in Pike County (Loop 323); and installation of appurtenant and auxiliary facilities. The projected project cost is $143 million.

Customers signed up for all of the 135,000 Dth/d of incremental capacity on the Orion Project are South Jersey Resources Group LLC, South Jersey Gas Co., and Cabot Oil & Gas Corp., according to the Kinder Morgan Inc. pipeline's filing at FERC.

TGP's request comes more than four months after FERC issued a certificate of authorization for the company's proposed Susquehanna West Project, a 145,000 Dth/d expansion of east-to-west capacity on its 300 Line in Pennsylvania [CP15-148]. That expansion will consist of pipeline looping and modifications to TGP's system between its Shoemaker receipt meter in Susquehanna County, and the interconnection with National Fuel Gas Supply Corp.'s system at the Rose Lake Meter Station in Potter County, PA.

Green groups had challenged FERC's decision to conduct a separate environmental review for the Susquehanna project, arguing that it had been improperly segmented from two other planned expansions to TGP's system -- the Orion and the Triad Expansion projects. The improper segmentation claim stemmed from an earlier legal victory for environmentalists challenging FERC's handling of its review of TGP's Northeast Upgrade Project. FERC denied a motion the groups had filed to consolidate the dockets for Susquehanna, Triad and Orion.

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