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Transco's Mid-Atlantic Expansion Gets FERC Go-Ahead

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has approved Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line's (Transco) proposed 142,000 Dth/d expansion of its system to cater to growing natural gas markets in the Mid-Atlantic region by November 2012.

The Mid-Atlantic Connector (MAC) expansion project calls for the construction of 42-inch diameter pipeline looping extending from Transco's Compressor Station 185 in Prince William County, VA, to Fairfax County, VA; the abandonment and replacement of pipeline in Fairfax County; and the construction of a 3,550-hp internal combustion-driven compressor unit at Transco's existing Compressor Station 165 in Pittsylvania County, VA [CP11-31].

Transco, a subsidiary of Williams Partners LP, also plans to install one 33,000-hp electric motor-driven compressor unit at its Compressor Station 175 in Fluvanna County, VA, and to abandon four 4,400-hp internal combustion-driven compressor units, leaving it with a net addition of 15,400 hp at Compressor Station 175.

The pipeline, which filed its project application in November, estimates that the expansion will cost approximately $55 million (see Daily GPI, Nov. 17, 2010).

When completed, the MAC expansion will provide Virginia Power Services Energy Corp. Inc. and Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. with incremental firm transportation capacity from a Transco interconnection with East Tennessee Natural Gas pipeline in Rockingham County, NC, to delivery points as far north as Maryland. Other supply points in the path of the project include interconnects with Columbia Gas Transmission, Dominion Transmission and Dominion Cove Point.

Transco said Virginia Power and Baltimore Gas and Electric have signed binding precedent agreements for the entire capacity of the project.

In approving the expansion, the FERC order said, "Transco's proposed project will enable it to provide 142,000 Dth of additional service to the MAC shippers. Further, the replacement of four aging compressor units with additional horsepower to be installed at Compressor Station 175 will improve the reliability of service to Transco's existing customers."

In addition, FERC approved Transco's request for a predetermination supporting rolled-in rate treatment for the costs of the expansion in its next general Section 4 rate proceeding, "absent a significant change in circumstances."

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