CIG Proposes Expansion of Cheyenne Hub

The Colorado Interstate Gas Co. officially filed a plan with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Dec. 4 to increase pipeline capacity from its Cheyenne Hub area south to Front Range markets. CIG's proposed $72 million expansion would include 84 miles of 20-inch pipeline and two generators along the eastern slope of the Rocky Mountains to a planned 480 MW power plant south of Colorado Springs.

The Nixon lateral will run from CIG's Watkins Station, east of Denver, following existing CIG pipeline right-of-way to a meter station south of Colorado Springs. The planned route will deviate from the existing right-of-way around areas in Douglas County, CO.

The proposal followed an open season for expanding parts of its system serving all markets between Cheyenne Hub and Valley Line delivery points (see Daily GPI, Sept. 11). It would have an in-service date of Dec. 1, 2002, according to CIG. One part of the pipeline would be 35 miles long, with a 24-inch looping facility, while another 84 miles would have a 20-inch pipeline loop.

In its filing, CIG said the pipeline expansion is required to "meet additional natural gas fuel requirements for electric generation and to provide additional natural gas to local distribution systems." Construction is scheduled to begin in April 2002, pending FERC approval.

"Demand for electricity in the Front Range is continuing to grow, and natural gas is proving to be the fuel of choice for new electric generation," said Jon Whitney, CEO of CIG. "CIG has been expanding its system to connect the growing natural gas supply in the Rocky Mountain region with the increasing demand for natural gas. This project is a perfect fit with the supply growth on the northern part of our system."

The pipeline would be expanded to deliver up to 336,000 Dth/d to a power plant scheduled to be constructed by Front Range Power LLC, jointly owned by Colorado Springs Utilities (CSU) and Coastal Power Co., a Coastal Corp. subsidiary. The facility would use two gas turbine generators and is scheduled for completion in the fourth quarter of 2002. CSU will use the power to meet the increasing demand in the Colorado Springs area, and capacity will be marketed to other users in the state and surrounding states.

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