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FGT Holds Open Season in Face of Two Competitors

FGT Holds Open Season in Face of Two Competitors

Florida Gas Transmission (FGT) is holding an open season through April 30 for another expansion, its Phase V project, an alternative to two major Gulf-crossing pipeline competitors, the Buccaneer and Gulfstream pipelines, proposed by Williams and Coastal, respectively.

"With our existing pipeline infrastructure, Florida Gas Transmission has the ability to meet our customers' growing energy needs through economical expansions that minimize the impact on land use and the environment," said Rockford G. Meyer, FGT president. Estimated initial in-service is late 2001 or early 2002.

FGT will consider offers from existing shippers to permanently release firm capacity, reducing the need for construction. Interested shippers should contact an FGT marketing representative at (713) 853-6154.

FGT's $350 million proposed Phase IV expansion is expected to be in service by May 2001. For the Phase IV expansion, eight shippers executed 20-year firm commitments for 272,000 MMBtu/d of incremental firm service, net of turn-back capacity. Some prospective customers of the Phase IV expansion who weren't ready to commit at the time may become customers of the Phase V expansion, Meyer said. Phase V likely will be anchored by power generation load, he said. "Not that there's not some additional LDC load out there. It's just that clearly the largest growth opportunity out there is for power generation."

Coastal and Williams, however, are attempting to capture for the first time some of FGT's prized Florida marketplace with their Gulfstream and Buccaneer projects. Both pipelines would stretch from Mobile, AL, across the Gulf of Mexico to Tampa, FL, and cross the state of Florida to cities along the Atlantic Coast. Each would be designed to carry between 700 MMcf/d and 1 Bcf/d of gas. Coastal said recently it already has the early market lead with nine shippers backing its 700-mile Gulfstream project. An open season for Gulfstream ends next Monday. Buccaneer also is holding an open season.

When asked by NGI in December about competition from Buccaneer (see NGI Dec. 7, 1998), Meyer said FGT's line "offers a lot of advantages over a line which is just coming over the Gulf [and would access] only Gulf Supplies," he said. "Our pipeline accesses not only the offshore Gulf of Mexico supplies, but also supplies from South Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.

Joe Fisher, Houston

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