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Tetco Southeastern Expansion Delayed Until November 2007

Federal regulators last Wednesday granted Texas Eastern Transmission LP (Tetco) nearly three additional years to complete and place into operation the remaining facilities of its proposed looping and compression expansion of its mainline pipeline in the Southeast.

The entire M-1 Expansion project, which FERC certificated in February 2003, was due to be operational today (Feb. 28). But the Duke Energy pipeline sought and received an extension until Nov. 1, 2007, citing a delay in the construction of the Choctaw Gas Generation LLC power plant in Mississippi and uncertain market conditions [CP02-381].

Before the Commission can approve construction of the remaining facilities, it said Tetco will have to meet with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) to determine whether the FWS clearances under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) for those sections of the project remain in effect. FERC noted that FWS clearances under the ESA normally are good for only a period of one year.

Only one part of the M-1 Expansion is completed. It provides for delivery of 57 MMcf/d of natural gas over the Tetco system into the Nashville, TN, market, where it then feeds into affiliate East Tennessee's pipeline system and serves multiple customers, a Tetco spokeswoman said. Despite the delay, she noted that the scope of the M-1 project will remain the same.

The entire $66 million expansion is expected to create total capacity of 197,147 Dth/d when completed in late 2007, depending on the market needs and requirements of the prospective shippers.

In its application to FERC, Tetco said the complete M-1 Expansion project would loop 32 miles of Tetco's mainline system with 36-inch diameter pipe and boost compression by about 28,000 horsepower.

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