FERC has approved CenterPoint Energy Gas Transmission LLC’s (CEGT) request to participate in the agency’s pre-filing process for a proposed pipeline system expansion in central Arkansas.

“We believe that beginning the [Federal Energy Regulatory] Commission’s review of this proposal prior to the receipt of your application will greatly improve our ability to identify issues early and address them in our environmental document,” wrote Jeff C. Wright, director of FERC’s Office of Energy Projects, in a letter order Thursday to CEGT, a subsidiary of Houston-based CenterPoint Energy.

The company said it plans to file its application by September, along with an applicant-prepared draft environmental assessment of the project to accelerate FERC staff review. It called on FERC to act on its application by January 2014 so it can begin construction by March of that year.

As part of its Central Pipeline Enhancement Project, CEGT proposes to lay 28 miles of 12-inch diameter pipeline and construct associated facilities in Pulaski and Faulkner counties, AR. The proposed pipeline, to be named Line BT-39, would provide replacement transmission for a portion of two existing CEGT natural gas pipelines (Lines B and BT-14).

As currently proposed, ownership of a 9.4-mile long segment of the existing Line BT-14 pipeline through the City of Conway, AR, would be transferred to CEGT’s distribution affiliate, CenterPoint Energy Arkansas Gas (CERC), and a 21-mile segment of the existing Line B pipeline, extending from Conway to North Little Rock, would be retired from service.

CEGT also would construct meter stations and appurtenances at seven new or modified locations along the Line BT-39 pipeline route and tie-in points to the existing Line BT-14 pipeline, to provide gas deliveries to CERC. Natural gas delivery to two of the planned meter stations from BT-39 would require construction of two small lateral pipelines (Lines BT-40 and BT-41), CEGT said.

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