The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Tuesday approved North Baja Pipeline’s proposal to build a lateral extending from a proposed interconnection at the United States-Mexico border near Yuma County, AZ, as well as issued a new presidential permit authorizing the importation of regasified liquefied natural gas (LNG).

“Because the proposed new border facilities are not connected to North Baja’s pipeline existing facilities, including those subject to North Baja’s existing presidential permit, we will not amend the existing presidential permit [as requested], but instead [will] issue a separate new presidential permit for the Yuma Lateral border facilities,” the agency order said [CP08-152]..

The proposed lateral would provide Arizona Public Service Co. (APS) with access to both regasified LNG from Mexico and domestic sources for use at the Yucca Power Plant as well as for the planned future power generation needs of APS (see Daily GPI, Aug. 12). The order requires the lateral facilities to be placed in service within one year.

Sempra Energy’s North Baja line has executed a precedent agreement with APS for a term of 15 years to transport 81,250 Dth/d to the Yucca Power Plant. APS is planning to expand its generating capacity at the Yucca Power Plant by adding two gas-fired turbine units totaling 96 MW.

The $8.5 million project calls for the construction of 3.27 miles of 12-inch diameter pipeline, extending from the international border at the Colorado River to the Yucca Power Plant. The U.S. lateral would lie entirely in Arizona. North Baja Pipeline requested that FERC act on its application quickly so that it can achieve its targeted in-service date of Jan. 1, 2009.

A 3.14-mile-long Mexican segment would be constructed by Sempra’s Gasoducto Bajanorte S. de R.L. de C.V., and would connect with the Gasoducto Bajanorte pipeline north of Algodones, Mexico, and extend to the international border.

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