FERC Thursday issued Algonquin Gas Transmission LLC a certificate to construct a 16-mile pipeline that would connect the company's New England-area natural gas pipeline system to Excelerate Energy's proposed Northeast Gateway deepwater liquefied natural gas (LNG) port.

Algonquin's proposed 24-inch diameter lateral would connect its existing HubLine pipe in Massachusetts Bay to the proposed LNG facility, which would be located 13 miles off the coast. The pipeline would have the capacity to deliver up to 800,000 Dth/d of incremental supply to the Northeast market, and is targeted for operation in the 2007-2008 winter season, said Algonquin spokesman John Sheridan.

FERC's approval of the Algonquin lateral comes about a month after the U.S. Maritime Administration (MARAD) issued a deepwater port license to Excelerate Energy to build its proposed Northeast Gateway LNG delivery system in Massachusetts Bay, which the company says will be the first of its kind built in the Northeast (see Daily GPI, Feb. 9).

MARAD's favorable decision keeps the Northeast Gateway project on target to begin natural gas deliveries to the New England market from the port in December. The port will be located 13 miles south of Gloucester, MA. It is based on Excelerate Energy's proprietary Energy Bridge technology and will be the company's second deepwater port. In March 2005, The Woodlands, TX-based Excelerate Energy began operating its Gulf Gateway Deepwater Port in the Gulf of Mexico -- the only offshore LNG receiving port operating in the world (see Daily GPI, April 7, 2005).

When completed, the Northeast Gateway LNG port will be capable of delivering 800 MMcf/d of natural gas through Algonquin's proposed 16-mile subsea pipeline that will feed into Algonquin's existing HubLine, which runs under the ocean floor across Massachusetts Bay and connects to the New England natural gas grid.

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