El Paso Natural Gas and Texas Eastern Transmission LP (Tetco) have received FERC clearances to begin construction on pipeline projects in the West and Mid-Atlantic regions.

The El Paso project, which was certificated by FERC last September, entails a compression expansion of the pipeline’s Bondad system, boosting capacity by 140 MMcf/d to a total of 725.5 MMcf/d. The project will allow additional gas to flow from the San Juan Basin and Rocky Mountain areas to a Blanco, NM delivery point.

The entire 140 MMcf/d of capacity has been subscribed by BP Energy under a 10-year contract. Additional capacity of up to 60 MMcf/d will be available for other shippers during the winter months on an interruptible basis.

The project includes the replacement of three existing compressors (10,740 hp) at the Bondad compressor station with three with a higher horsepower rating (18,390 hp). Work also will be done on other existing compressors at the station.

Tetco got the green light to begin construction on portions (Uniontown Discharge and Section 2 of the Waynesburg Discharge) of a pipeline expansion in Pennsylvania, which will add 223 MDth/d of capacity for leasing to Dominion Transmission as part of its Mid-Atlantic project. Dominion Transmission plans to add the same amount of transportation capacity to its system farther downstream. The companion projects, which received FERC certificates last September, are designed to bring in new supply to serve demand primarily from local distribution companies in Maryland and Virginia.

The $83 million upstream project on Tetco will include 35 miles of new 36-inch diameter pipeline looping within the existing Tetco right-of-way at three locations between Crayne and Chambersburg in southern Pennsylvania. Also included are an upgrade of some facilities at the Uniontown compressor station in Fayette County, as well as construction of new pipeline in Greene, Fayette, Somerset, Fulton and Franklin counties of Pennsylvania.

In addition to the transportation expansion, Dominion’s $78 million downstream project calls for 5.6 Bcf of working storage capacity to be added. Facilities will include 5,000 hp of new compression in Wetzel County, WV, an upgrade to the existing turbines in Dominion’s Crayne Station in Waynesburg, PA, a 7,800 hp addition at Leesburg Station in Leesburg, VA, and 6,000 hp of new compression in Fauquier County, VA. The downstream project has a projected in-service date of November 2004.

Dominion has entered into long-term agreements with five customers for the entire 223 MDth/d of firm transportation service: 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.

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