FERC has issued a favorable environmental review of Algonquin Gas Transmission LLC’s significantly downsized HubLine/East-to-West (HubLine/E2W) project, which would increase east-to-west capacity on the pipeline system in New England to accommodate regasified liquefied natural gas (LNG) from LNG deepwater ports.

“We have determined that construction and operation of the E2W project would result in some adverse environmental impacts. However all impacts would be reduced to less-than-significant levels with the implementation of Algonquin’s proposed mitigation measures and additional measures we recommend,” the staff of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) said in its final environmental impact statement (FEIS) on the project [CP08-420].

In June Algonquin filed an amendment at the Commission “substantially reducing the scope of the E2W project and eliminating all of the proposed facilities in Massachusetts and Rhode Island, and the majority of the proposed facilities in Connecticut. Algonquin’s amended E2W project…involves only modifications to an existing compressor station in New Jersey and the replacement of existing pipeline in Connecticut,” the FEIS said.

The E2W project would provide 281,5000 Dth/d of east-to-west natural gas transportation service for delivery to high-growth markets in the Northeast. It would increase supply diversity by accessing new supply sources on the east end of Algonquin from the Northeast Gateway Deepwater Port and the Suez (Neptune) Deepwater Port. The E2W project originally was sized at 1 Bcf/d.

“The project would also increase Algonquin’s system flexibility to manage contingencies such as operational or facility outages and strengthen its ability to mitigate other capacity restrictions on the eastern end of the system,” the FEIS said.

The project calls for the installation of 2.56 miles of 12-inch diameter pipeline in New London County, CT; installation of minor aboveground facilities in New London County; and modifications to the existing Hanover Compressor Station in Morris County, NJ, to accommodate reverse flow and backhaul capability along Algonquin’s system.

Algonquin said it plans to start construction in April 2010 and place the facilities in service by November of that year.

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