FERC authorized service to commence on the first phase of Natural Gas Pipeline Company of America LLC's (NGPL) Gulf Coast Southbound Expansion Project.

The project is designed to transport an additional 460,000 Dth/d on NGPL's Gulf Coast Mainline System to serve growing industrial and export demand via delivery points in South Texas [CP16-488].

NGPL filed an application for the project with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission two years ago, proposing constructing a 15,900 hp compressor station (CS 394) in Cass County, TX, along with a 4,000-foot, 30-inch diameter pipeline lateral connecting the station to NGPL's Amarillo to Gulf Coast Pipeline. NGPL would also abandon two existing compression units at its CS 301 compressor station, totaling roughly 5,600 hp, according to FERC.

FERC issued a favorable environmental assessment for Phase 1 of the project in April 2017.

The Gulf Coast expansion would transport natural gas from points in Illinois, Arkansas, Oklahoma and Texas to delivery points on the Cheniere Corpus Christi Pipeline (serving Cheniere Energy Inc.'s Corpus Christi Liquefaction project) in San Patricio County, TX, and on the NET Mexico Pipeline in Nueces County, TX.

NGPL is targeting an October 2018 in-service date for Phase 1 of the Gulf Coast Southbound expansion.

A second phase, which would provide an additional 300,000 Dth/d of firm southbound capacity, is under contract with a third party, according to NGPL. The projected in-service date for Phase 2 is mid-2021.

NGPL is seeking non-binding solicitations of interest for a third phase of the project, which would provide 260,000 Dth/d of incremental firm southbound transportation service from existing or new interconnects on NGPL's system in Illinois and Iowa to growing markets along the Texas and Louisiana Gulf Coast.

NGPL, jointly-owned by Kinder Morgan Inc. and Brookfield Infrastructure Partners LP, operates one of the largest interstate pipeline systems in the country, with roughly 9,100 miles of pipeline, over 1 million hp of compression and 288 Bcf of storage.