Construction Starts on Gulfstream

Gulfstream Natural Gas System, LLC broke ground last Thursday on its $1.6 billion, 753-mile pipeline under the Gulf of Mexico from Mississippi and Alabama to Florida. The target for completion is June, 2002.

Ground-breaking ceremonies were held at Port Manatee, FL, beginning an intensive 12-month pipeline construction process to increase natural gas deliverability in the state by 1.1 Bcf/d.

Gulfstream will be the first new natural gas transportation system to serve Florida in more than 40 years. Florida Gas Transmission currently is the only pipeline into the state. Preparation for pipe laying has been ongoing for the past two months and will continue through June. Offshore pipe laying is scheduled to begin in early July. The construction vessels used to place the offshore pipe can lay up to four miles of pipe each day.

Onshore pipe laying is on schedule to begin in mid-July in Polk County, FL. In preparation for construction, more than 93 miles of pipe weighing in excess of 188,000 tons has been shipped from pipe mills in Florida, France and Germany to pipe yards in Alabama and Florida.

Gulfstream, a joint venture of Williams and Duke Energy, is designed primarily to serve Florida utilities and power-generation facilities that will use high-efficiency natural gas turbines to meet the increasing demand for electric energy.

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