Atlanta Gas Light (AGL), which failed in a previous attempt to gain a regulatory green light to build a pipeline connecting Atlanta to liquefied natural gas (LNG) facilities at Elba Island, GA, hopes the Georgia Public Service Commission (PSC) will approve plans to transport the gas via existing pipelines.

Included in AGL's most recent capacity supply plan filed with the PSC is a proposal to provide gas from Elba Island, near Savannah, to Georgia customers through a series of pipes, some owned by Southern Natural Gas, AGL spokesman Jack Holt told NGI. The Elba Island portion of the plan would provide roughly 3% of AGL's supply, he said.

"We've negotiated with Southern Natural Gas to participate jointly in an effort to provide for that firm transport from Elba into the Georgia market," Holt said. "Southern Natural Gas is currently developing its Cypress expansion project going into Florida. We'll obtain partial ownership of portions of this new pipeline, and we'll also use other existing Southern Natural facilities to get that transport from Elba back up into our system."

AGL plans to bring gas down the Cypress pipeline to its own Brunswick lateral pipeline, north into Lawrence County, GA where it will enter Southern Natural Gas's south main in Jones County, GA and on into Atlanta, Holt said.

AGL's plan would cost an estimated $43 million, which would be recovered through gas capacity charges, Holt said. The old pipeline construction plan, which died last year when Georgia lawmakers failed to approve required legislation, would have cost approximately $300 million.

"Elba Island is right in our back yard. We need to get some of that gas into Georgia before it all goes out to South Carolina or Florida or on up the eastern seaboard," Holt said. "Right now we're dependent on most of our capacity coming from the Gulf. We saw a lot a lot of price instability associated with Katrina. This just allows us to diversify our supply sources so we're not solely dependent on Gulf gas. It gives us a bit of insurance."

In April, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) gave El Paso Corp. subsidiary Southern Natural Gas authorization to begin service, including interconnection and measurement facilities with AGL in Glynn County, GA, on its Cypress Pipeline project, which provides a direct corridor for deliveries of gas from the Elba Island LNG terminal to the northern Florida market (see NGI, April 30).

On Sept. 20 FERC issued a certificate allowing Southern Natural Gas and two other El Paso Corp. affiliates to double the storage and sendout capacity of Southern LNG's import terminal on Elba Island and build a new gas pipeline to move nearly 1.2 Bcf/d of revaporized LNG to growing Southeast markets (see related story). That pipeline, which is estimated to cost $62.6 million, will have a quarter-mile, eight-inch diameter lateral connecting it with the Formosa Hydrocarbons Co.; and would transport gas to four intrastate pipelines and five interstate pipeline, including Florida Gas Transmission, Gulf South Pipeline, Natural Gas Pipeline Company of America, Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line and Tennessee Natural Gas Co.

The PSC is scheduled to vote on AGL's capacity supply plan during a meeting Thursday in Atlanta.

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