The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Friday cleared the way for Dominion Transmission to begin construction on portions of its Mid-Atlantic Expansion project. At the same time, Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line notified the agency that it placed the second and final phase of its southeastern Momentum expansion in service on Feb. 1.

The $78 million project will expand compression on Dominion’s system in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Virginia in order for the pipeline to receive an additional 223 MDth/d of natural gas supplies over a companion expansion on Texas Eastern Transmission’s (Tetco) system in Pennsylvania [CP03-41]. It has a projected in-service date of November 2004.

Duke Energy’s Tetco got the green light in late January to start construction on its $83 million system expansion in Pennsylvania, which will create 223 MDth/d of new capacity that will be leased to Dominion Transmission. Tetco plans to build 35 miles of new 36-inch diameter pipeline looping within its existing right-of-way at three locations in southern Pennsylvania, as well as upgrade some compressor and associated facilities.

The twin Dominion and Tetco expansions, which received FERC certificates last September, are designed to bring in new supplies to meet gas distribution demand in Maryland and Virginia.

Dominion has entered into long-term agreements with five customers for the entire 223 MDth/d of firm transportation service to be leased from Tetco: Virginia Natural Gas, Virginia Power Energy Marketing (VPEM), Columbia Gas of Virginia, City of Richmond, VA, and Washington Gas Light Co. All of the customers, with the exception of VPEM, have signed up for the 5.6 Bcf of firm storage capacity to be created by Dominion’s Mid-Atlantic project.

Transco’s Momentum project included the addition of 50 miles of 42- and 40-inch diameter pipeline looping in Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia, as well as 45,000 horsepower of new compression. The $189 million project raised Transco’s system capacity by approximately 323,000 Dth/d to 8 Bcf/d [CP01-388].

Phase I of the Momentum project went into operation last May, increasing Transco capacity by 269,000 Dth/d. Phase II of the expansion was completed ahead of schedule. The Williams’ pipeline hadn’t expected to begin service on the second phase until May of this year.

In a separate development, Natural Gas Pipeline Company of America notified FERC that it has transferred to Panther Interstate Pipeline Energy LLC 22 miles of 16-inch diameter pipeline originating in the High Island area offshore Texas and terminating onshore in Jefferson County, TX, as well as 3.12 miles of 20-inch diameter onshore pipe [CP03-337].

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