Transwestern Plans Mainline Expansion

Strong gas-fired power generation and economic growth in California prompted Transwestern Pipeline last week to propose a $93 million emergency expansion project and announce plans for a much larger project going forward.

"This expansion is a start in meeting the increased demand in California and represents additional capacity that can be brought on-line by next summer," said Stan Horton, chairman of Enron Transportation Services. "Transwestern also plans a more extensive expansion in the future."

The pipeline received enough market support during an open season last month to file with FERC for a 150,000 MMBtu/d expansion of its mainline to Southern California. The proposed Red Rock Expansion is scheduled to begin service next June if approved.

However, Enron spokeswoman Shelly Corman said an open season last fall yielded requests for 1.3 Bcf/d of capacity and the pipeline is continuing to negotiate with shippers on long term agreements for a much larger project. She said the future expansion would require "more extensive" facilities and would be in service sometime in the next couple years.

For the emergency expansion this summer, Transwestern intends to replace several old compressors with new ones, totaling about 41,500 hp. No new pipeline construction is required. The project would expand capacity from Transwestern's East of Thoreau receipt point to various delivery points in the Southwest and at the California border. The project will bring the pipeline's total capacity at the border to 1.24 Bcf/d.

Transwestern said there is significant delivery point capacity available, including 92,000 MMBtu on the Topock lateral, 126,000 MMBtu at PG&E Topock, 280,000 MMBtu at Mojave Topock, 76,000 MMBtu at Calpine/Southpoint, 86,000 MMBtu at Southwest Gas and 120,000 MMBtu at Citizens/Griffith.

Some expansion capacity is still available and the pipeline continues to take requests for service. For more information, contact Lorraine Lindberg at (713) 853-5403. Written offers must include material terms (rate, term, points, quantity) and the shipper should indicate whether partial volume will be accepted in the event allocation is necessary.

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