FERC issued favorable preliminary determinations on non-environmental grounds last week on two major pipeline expansion projects, one of which would double Kern River Gas Transmission pipeline capacity to California. The other project, Florida Gas Transmission’s (FGT) $105.4 million Phase VI expansion, would provide 85,356 Dth/d of additional pipeline capacity for markets in Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama and Florida.

Kern River’s $1.2 billion 2003 Expansion would add 885,626 Dth/d of incremental pipeline space, bringing its system capacity to 1.73 Bcf/d. Kern River, a Williams Companies subsidiary, got a joint draft environmental go-ahead from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the California State Lands Commission earlier this week. The proposed expansion calls for about 717 miles of the pipeline’s 922-mile system to be looped from Wyoming to Bakersfield, CA, and for the addition of three new compressor stations. It is targeted for operation by May 2003. The project would increase deliveries of natural gas supplies to customers in Utah, Nevada and California.

FGT’s mainline expansion project would boost system capacity by 85,356 Dth/d and add another 33 miles of pipe and 18,600 hp of compression. The expansion would provide new capacity for electric power generation and would help meet growing demand from local distribution company markets.

The expansion is supported by long-term firm natural gas transportation commitments from Orlando Utilities Commission, Reliant Energy Services, Inc., the City of Leesburg, FL, and South Florida Natural Gas. Construction is expected to begin in late 2002, with planned phased service for the expansion of June 1, 2003 and Nov. 1, 2003.

Meanwhile, FGT’s Phase V Expansion project, which was approved by FERC last summer, is expected to be in service in April. The $452 million Phase V expansion will provide an additional 306 MMcf/d of capacity and is fully subscribed. Phase V is designed primarily to meet growing electricity demand in Florida. It will expand FGT ‘s transmission system by adding 166 miles of 16-inch to 36-inch diameter mainline looping and laterals, additional compression totaling 132,615 hp and various other facilities in Mississippi, Alabama and Florida. In total, the Phase VI and V expansion projects will expand the FGT system to more than 2 Bcf/d by late 2003.

FGT, a wholly owned subsidiary of Citrus Corp., operates an interstate natural gas transmission system that spans from South Texas to South Florida. Citrus Corp. is owned jointly by Enron Corp. and El Paso Corp.

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