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FGT Plans Phase V Expansion Project

FGT Plans Phase V Expansion Project

Florida has become a hot bed of new gas pipeline development and expansions designed to serve burgeoning power generation demand. Even before the ink is dry on its last expansion application, Florida Gas Transmission (FGT) is gearing up for another $250 million expansion filing with FERC later this year.

The pipeline said yesterday it has firm commitments from Florida Power & Light and Gulf Power Co., a Southern Company subsidiary, for additional firm capacity. Details of the expansion still are being worked out, but the project mainly would be designed to serve two power plants, one on the East Coast of Florida near Daytona Beach and another on the Gulf Coast near Panama City. FPL plans to repower the Sanford power plant in Volusia County with gas technology to double the generating capacity of its existing facility. Gulf Power is planning to build a new gas-fired combined-cycle unit at its existing Lansing Smith facility near in Bay County. FGT's Phase V expansion is expected to be in-service by the second quarter of 2002.

The pipeline's $350 million Phase IV expansion was filed with FERC in December and the company still is awaiting a preliminary determination on non-environmental matters. That project is expected to be in service by May 2001. For the Phase IV expansion, eight shippers executed 20-year firm commitments for 272,000 MMBtu/d of incremental firm service, net of turn-back capacity.

Meanwhile, for the first time other pipeline companies are attempting to capture some of FGT's prized Florida marketplace. Coastal and Williams have proposed competing pipelines that would stretch from Mobile, AL, across the Gulf of Mexico to Tampa, FL, and then would cross the state to cities along the Atlantic Coast. Each would be designed to carry between 700 MMcf/d and 1 Bcf/d of gas. Neither Williams' Buccaneer pipeline or Coastal's Gulfstream project have been filed with FERC.

The big attraction for the pipelines is Florida's strong power generation growth. The state has forecast a need more than 10,000 MW of additional power generation by 2007.

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