Cove Point Proposes Tie-in with Transco

Williams last week asked FERC for the go-ahead to build a 1,000 MDth/d interconnect between its Cove Point liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal in Lusby, MD, and affiliate Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line.

The proposed two-mile, 36-inch diameter lateral would connect the Williams pipeline to Cove Point's 87-mile mainline in Fairfax County, VA, giving the LNG facility "additional flexibility" to serve its customers, according to the application filed at the Commission last Tuesday. The Cove Point LNG plant already connects to Columbia Gas Transmission, Dominion Transmission and CNG Transmission Corp.

Customers have requested that the lateral, which has an estimated price-tag of $6 million, be in service by Dec. 1 of this year, said Williams, which owns both Cove Point and Transco. It also plans to add a bi-directional Pleasant Valley Meter Station to measure the movement of gas between Cove Point and the Transco system, and a 20-inch tap on Cove Point's mainline. The former will cost about $5 million, it said.

The proposed interconnect "will provide Cove Point's existing customers significantly more flexibility than they currently have with respect to sourcing supply into Cove Point and providing an alternative delivery point and market for peaking customers," Williams told FERC.

The interconnect is part of Williams plans to reactivate Cove Point's existing LNG facilities and import services by April 1, 2002, and build a fifth LNG storage tank to boost its capacity to 7.8 Bcf. Williams has estimated the reactivation/expansion project will cost $103 million.

The expansion would make the Cove Point facility, which Williams purchased from affiliates of Columbia Energy Group last June, the largest import facility in the United States, with a send-out capacity of 1 Bcf/d. Cove Point is one of only four LNG import terminals in the United States.

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