Spectra Energy Corp. has received approval from the FERC to begin construction on the New Jersey-New York Expansion Project, a 20-mile expansion of the company's Texas Eastern Transmission and Algonquin Gas Transmission interstate pipeline systems.

Once completed, the project will provide an additional 800 MMcf/d of transportation capacity into the New Jersey-New York region, Spectra said. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approved the project last May (see Daily GPI, May 23). It is expected to enter service during the fourth quarter of 2013.

"We will continue to cooperate with the communities and appropriate regulatory agencies as we complete work on a project that will provide critically-needed pipeline infrastructure, as well as significant environmental and economic benefits to the region," said Spectra CEO Greg Ebel.

Increasing the region's access to diverse and reliable supplies will alleviate seasonal natural gas volatility, resulting in an estimated $700 million of total annual energy savings in New Jersey and New York, Spectra said.

FERC specified that the company must implement an archaeological monitoring plan for the Big Inch and Little Big Inch pipelines among other requirements.

The controversial project fended off attacks from New Jersey and environmental officials. The expansion was opposed by top officials in New Jersey -- Gov. Chris Christie, Rep. William Pascrell (D-NJ) and Jersey City Mayor Jerramiah T. Healy (see Daily GPI, Jan. 24, 2011; Dec. 29, 2010) -- but it received solid support in New York (see Daily GPI, Sept. 1, 2011).

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