Equitrans LP, a subsidiary of Pittsburgh-based EQT Corp., Wednesday said it has gotten the go-ahead from FERC to begin construction on a new pipeline in Pennsylvania and West Virginia that will provide additional takeaway capacity for Marcellus Shale gas producers.

The $272 million Sunrise project calls for the construction of approximately 50 miles of pipeline — 41.5 miles of 24-inch diameter pipe, 2.7 miles of 16-inch diameter pipeline and an uprate of 4.8 miles of existing mainline — that will run from southwestern Pennsylvania into West Virginia, and the installation of a 14,205-hp new compressor station in Greene County, PA.

The project would expand Equitrans’ existing mainline transmission system to accommodate the rapid development of natural gas from both the liquids-rich and dry areas of the Marcellus Shale formation in the central Appalachian basin. It would generate 313,560 Dth/d of new capacity for Marcellus producers to transport gas to markets in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic markets, Equitrans told the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in its application.

Equitrans said it has signed commitments to enter into negotiated rate agreements for 199,410 Dth/d of the Sunrise capacity. It said it intentionally oversized the project “based on the projections for rapid and continued development of production in the Marcellus formation.”

The Sunrise facilities will tie in with MarkWest Energy Partners’ 120 MMcf/d Mobley processing complex in West Virginia, and the pipeline systems of Texas Eastern Transmission, Dominion Transmission and Equitrans’ mainline.

“We are excited to begin construction of the Sunrise project; when completed, the pipeline will provide the critical infrastructure necessary to facilitate continued development of Marcellus acreage in northern West Virginia,” said Equitrans Senior Vice President Randy Crawford.

“The linking of this downstream transportation capacity to NGL [natural gas liquids] processing will provide producers of liquids-rich acreage a comprehensive solution to deliver their gas to market.”

Equitrans said the project is targeted for in-service in the summer of 2012.