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Tex-Mex Natural Gas Pipeline Project Faces Another Delay, Says Valley Crossing

For the second time this year, Valley Crossing Pipeline has informed FERC that conditions will force it to delay work on its Border Crossing Project, a 1,000-foot stretch of 42-inch diameter pipeline that would extend from a point in Texas state waters about 30 miles east of Brownsville, to the international border with the Mexican state of Tamaulipas.

Valley Crossing requested an extension of six months to April 23 to place Border Crossing Project facilities into service. It had previously planned an October in service date.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission issued a presidential permit and granted authorization last October for Valley Crossing, a subsidiary of Enbridge Inc., to construct and operate the 2.6 Bcf/d cross-border natural gas pipeline between Texas and Mexico, where it will be used for power generation and industrial customers [CP17-19]. Valley Crossing received FERC authorization to begin construction of Border Crossing earlier this year.

Infraestructura Marina del Golfo, S de RL de CV (Marina), an unaffiliated Mexican pipeline, plans to construct 500 miles of pipeline on the Mexican side of the border, with an interconnect at a border-crossing facility at the Port of Tuxpan, according to Valley Crossing.

"Construction activities related to the remaining Border Crossing Project facilities continues and is currently anticipated to be completed by the end of October 2018," the Houston-based company said in a FERC filing last Friday. "In order to complete hydrostatic testing and final commissioning of the project facilities, Valley Crossing must coordinate these activities with Marina's construction schedule, which contemplates a different construction schedule than the Border Crossing Project, as well as the unpredictable sea conditions in the Gulf of Mexico, which cause uncertainty as to the precise date by when this can occur."

The request comes four months after Valley Crossing said rough weather in the nearby Gulf of Mexico had delayed the start of construction of a portion of the project. The delay affected the 1,000-foot section of FERC jurisdictional pipe in deeper water, but offshore construction in shallower water had been progressing.

Natural gas transported through the pipeline is expected to fuel power plants owned by Mexico's Comision Federal de Electricidad.

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