As it continues to assuage concerned landowners and perhaps keepa positive image in front of regulators, Houston’s Coastal Corp.yesterday touted the benefits of its proposed Gulfstream NaturalGas System LLC affiliate, saying that the Florida pipeline willpump $1.2 billion into the Sunshine state’s economy, most of thatcoming during the construction phase.

The independent study, by Orlando, FL-based Fishkind &Associates, included the additional economic impact of Gulfstream’splans to purchase large-diameter pipe from Berg Steel Corp. of PanamaCity, FL, announced in late May (See Daily GPI, June 1). Gulfstream already has signed aletter of intent with Berg to provide most of the 36-inch- and30-inch-diameter pipe for the project.

Although it still awaits final approval, Gulfstream has receivedpreliminary determination of need from the Federal EnergyRegulatory Commission on its application to build a 744-milepipeline from Alabama to Florida’s east coast. When completed,Gulfstream would be able to deliver 1.1 Bcf/d to customers incentral and eastern Florida. The system has a preliminaryin-service date of June 2002.

However, it’s not the only system awaiting approval. FERC alsogave a preliminary determination of need to another proposal fromBuccaneer, which also proposes to carry 1 Bcf/d into the statealong a similar route. The Buccaneer proposal is sponsored byWilliams and Duke Energy (see Daily GPI, April 26). Still, Coastalofficials are confident enough that they are now working on theirpublic relations efforts to convince the landowners that theirpipeline is not only needed, but will provide monetary benefits.

“We feel this is the best route, that it is the mostenvironmentally responsible route,” said Coastal’s Joe Martucci.”We’re still on target for June 2002.”

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