FERC’s Office of Energy Projects (OEP) published its environmental assessment Monday for the Loudon Expansion Project proposed by Spectra Energy Partners subsidiary East Tennessee Natural Gas LLC.

East Tennessee filed an application with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in February [CP15-91] seeking to add 40,000 Dth/d of firm transportation capacity to its pipeline system to serve an existing manufacturing facility operated by Tate & Lyle Americas Ingredients LLC. The expansion would add a 10-mile, 12-inch-diameter mainline extension across Loudon and Monroe counties in Tennessee.

According to the project application, Tate & Lyle is “a manufacturer of artificial sweeteners and ethanol products” requiring the additional gas to serve planned “modifications to its existing manufacturing plant, including the conversion of existing coal-fired boilers to natural gas, and the installation of a new natural gas fueled combined cycle electric power plant.”

The expansion would also include a 12-inch mainline valve, two 12-inch tee taps and a pig launcher in Monroe County; a new meter facility and related equipment in Loudon County; and a pressure regulator at East Tennessee’s existing Meter Station 59039 in Loudon County.

In its analysis, OEP concludes that approval of the Loudon Expansion Project “would not constitute a major federal action significantly affecting the quality of the human environment.” The analysis “recommends that the commission order contain a finding of no significant impact,” with the recommendation that a FERC certificate include conditions requiring East Tennessee to work with regulators on various impact mitigation measures.

Prior to filing with FERC, East Tennessee and Tate & Lyle entered into a precedent agreement for the Loudon Expansion in February that would extend across a primary term of 20 years from the in-service date. The project is tentatively expected to go online in September 2016.

FERC will be accepting comments on the environmental assessment of the Loudon Expansion Project through Jan. 27.