FERC Thursday approved Kern River Gas Transmission's proposal to expand the summer design capacity of its pipeline system from southwestern Wyoming to Nevada by 266 MMcf/d to meet growing demand for gas from power generators.

The Apex project calls for the construction of approximately 28 miles of 36-inch diameter pipeline in an unlooped portion of Kern River's existing mainline across the Wasatch Mountains in northern Utah; the installation of a 16,000 hp gas-fired turbine compressor unit and restaging of existing compressor units at three existing compressor stations in Uinta County, WY, Utah County, UT, and Clark County, NV; the replacement of a compressor unit at Kern River's existing Fillmore Compressor Station in Millard County, UT; and construction of the new Milford Compressor Station with a single 30,000 hp gas-fired turbine compressor in Beaver County, UT.

The proposed facilities will add 78,000 hp to the Kern River system, increasing its summer design capacity to 2.142 MDth/d from 1.876 MDth/d, according to Kern River, a subsidiary of MidAmerican Energy Holdings Co. The pipeline, which received the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's (FERC) final environmental nod in July, has indicated that it hopes to have the expansion in service by Nov. 1, 2011 (see Daily GPI, July 26).

Kern River said it has executed a precedent agreement and a long-term, firm transportation service agreement with NV Energy, formerly Nevada Power Co., for the entire capacity to be created by the expansion.

"Kern River has demonstrated substantial market demand for the project, which is fully subscribed, under long-term contracts. Kern River's existing customers will not subsidize the project, and there will be no degradation of service to Kern River's existing customers or any adverse effects on other existing pipelines or their customers," the FERC order said.

The Kern River system, which is mostly 36-inch diameter pipeline, extends 1,680 miles from Wyoming to California. Its current capacity is 1.9 Bcf/d.

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