FERC issued a certificate Thursday authorizing Columbia Gas Transmission LLC (CGT) to build and operate a compressor station in Pennsylvania and to add compression to an existing station in neighboring West Virginia.

Both plans are part of the $81.8 million Smithfield III Expansion Project [No. CP13-477], which CGT, a NiSource Inc. subsidiary, said will enable it to provide an additional 444,000 Dth/d of firm transportation service on its system from the Appalachian Basin to an interconnect with Columbia Gulf Transmission LLC pipeline near Leach, KY (see Shale Daily, May 16).

The project calls for CGT to build a 9,400 hp compressor station, Redd Farm, in Washington County, PA. The company also plans to install additional compressor units totaling 15,600 hp at its Glenville station in Gilmer County, WV, and install new piping, control systems and other appurtenant facilities at its Smithfield station in Wetzel County, WV, and its Clendenin station in Kanawha County, WV.

CGT had also asked for Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) approval for a plan to modify its Line 1570 (Docket No. CP13-477), which it estimates will cost $121.7 million. The company plans to replace a 20-inch diameter high-pressure, bare steel pipeline with a 24-inch diameter pipeline. The original line dates back to 1947 and runs between Redd Farm and the company's Waynesburg compressor station in Greene County, PA. The company also plans to replace and expand Waynesburg to 3,240 hp.

FERC issued the certificate on the condition that CGT completes construction and brings the infrastructure online within two years. Columbia is also required to file all negotiated rate agreements, or a tariff record describing the negotiated rate agreements associated with the project, 30-60 days before the in-service date.

CGT had requested that FERC approve both projects by Dec. 1 so the company can complete tree-clearing activities by April 1. New time clearing restrictions from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are to take effect on that date.