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FERC Approves Transco's SouthCoast Project

FERC Approves Transco's SouthCoast Project

Williams' Transco pipeline has received approval for its SouthCoast Expansion, a project to deliver up to 204 MMcf/d of additional supplies starting in November, primarily in Georgia and South Carolina. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission issued a certificate for the project last Monday, accepting Transco's alternate incremental rate scheme, requiring signed 15-year contracts for 100% of capacity, and dismissing protests (see FERC Docket CP99-392)

The 44 miles of expanded pipe primarily will serve Atlanta Gas Light (AGL) (61 MMcf/d), Georgia Power (40 MMcf/d) and a new power generation plant to be built by the South Carolina Public Service Authority (Santee Cooper) (80 MMcf/d), as well as various small towns and cities. The facilities will increase mainline capacity between Station 85 in Butler, AL, to delivery points in Zone 4.

The $108,354,725 project includes approximately 44 miles of 24- and 48-inch looping in Alabama and Georgia and two compressors totaling 31,500 hp (see Daily GPI, April 30, 1999). FERC also approved a certificate for Santee Cooper to build 2.1 miles of 16-inch pipe from its plant construction site in South Carolina to a connection with Transco in Georgia. The agency said it would cost more to connect to the Transco system in Georgia, which is in a different rate zone because the fuel retention percentage would be higher. Crossing the state line puts the power authority's connector under FERC jurisdiction, but the Commission granted Santee Cooper's requested waiver of onerous interstate reporting requirements.

The Commission approved an incremental rate for firm transportation on the expanded facilities on Transco's mainline of $7.6214/Dth and $5.4518/Dth for its North Georgia Extension. Transco and the Commission by-passed protests to the pipeline's initial plan for rolled-in rates, settling on incremental rates so that existing customers would not bear the burden of the expansion costs (see NGI, Nov. 29, 1999). The SouthCoast Expansion is expected to have minimal impact on the environment and surrounding landowners since construction will occur on or near Transco's existing right-of-way.

Ellen Beswick

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