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FERC OKs Enlarged Trunkline Gas Pipeline to Serve Lake Charles LNG Expansion

FERC has issued an amended certificate giving Trunkline Gas Co. LLC the go-ahead to increase the size of an agency-approved looping project that would serve affiliate Trunkline LNG's expansion of its liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal in Lake Charles, LA.

The amended certificate allows Trunkline Gas to expand the size of a 22.8-mile pipeline loop to 36 inches in diameter from 30 inches to accommodate the currently contracted and potentially expanded levels of regasified LNG volumes of the pipe loop's sole customer, BG LNG. FERC approved the smaller diameter pipeline looping project in September 2004 (see NGI, Sept. 20, 2004).

The facilities would loop segments of Trunkline Gas's existing 46-mile LNG lateral, which extends from the tailgate of affiliate Trunkline LNG Co. LLC's LNG terminal in Lake Charles and connects to the pipeline's transmission system in Longville, LA.

In addition to the 22.8 miles of pipe looping, the project would increase the metering capacity at Trunkline Gas's existing Ragley delivery point interconnection with Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Corp. in Beauregard Parish, LA; modify the metering capacity at Trunkline Gas's existing delivery point interconnection with Texas Eastern Transmission LP in Beauregard Parish; and would add new interconnects with the Calcasieu Gas Gathering System, Sabine Pipeline Co. LLC, Tennessee Gas Pipeline and Texas Gas Transmission in Calcasieu Parish, LA [CP04-64-001].

The pipe facilities are designed to accommodate an additional 600,000 Dth/d of send-out capacity from Trunkline LNG's Phase II expansion, which will boost total send-out capacity from the terminal by an incremental 50% to 1.8 Bcf/d on a sustained basis and 2.1 Bcf/d on a peak-day basis. The additional capacity will be fully contracted to BG LNG under an agreement expiring in 2023.

Trunkline's proposed modifications to the LNG loop project are expected to increase the cost of the facilities to $50 million from $39.9 million, according to the pipeline. It proposes to have the amended facilities in service by Oct. 1 of this year in order to meet BG LNG's transportation requirements.

FERC, in the September 2004 order, approved the Phase II expansion of Trunkline LNG's Lake Charles terminal, as well as Trunkline Gas's 30-inch diameter pipeline that would loop its existing system. Trunkline LNG estimates that the Phase II terminal expansion would likely go into service by early to mid-2006.

Trunkline LNG currently is carrying out the Phase I expansion of the Lake Charles terminal, which will raise send-out capacity to 1.2 Bcf/d from its existing 630 MMcf/d and expand terminal storage capacity to 9 Bcf from its current 6.3 Bcf. Phase I is slated to be completed and in service in December of this year, according to the company.

Both Trunkline LNG and Trunkline Gas pipeline are subsidiaries of Wilkes Barre, PA-based Southern Union.

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