FERC on Friday approved Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line’s (Transco) Northeast Supply Link project to provide additional firm transportation service from the Marcellus shale play to meet growing demand for natural gas in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York City.

The project would provide 250,000 Dth/d of incremental firm transportation capacity from supply interconnections on Transco’s Leidy Line in Pennsylvania to its 210 Market Pool in New Jersey and the Manhattan, Central Manhattan and Narrows delivery points in New York City.

It would involve the construction of 13 miles of additional 42-inch diameter pipe segments, called loops, in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, and additional compression and existing facility modifications. The project, which received a favorable environmental assessment in August, is slated to be completed and in operation by November 2013 (see Shale Daily, Aug. 2).

In addition to the loop segments, the Williams’ pipeline said it plans to install a new 25,000 hp electric motor-driven compressor station and associated electric substation in Essex County, NJ, (Station 303); and install an additional 16,000 hp natural gas turbine-driven compressor unit at Transco’s existing Compressor Station No. 515 in Luzerne County, PA.

Four shippers have subscribed to the entire capacity of the project, including affiliate Williams Gas Marketing Inc. (135,000 Dth/d); Anadarko Energy Services Co. (67,500 Dth/d); MMGS Inc. (32,500 Dth/d and Hess Corp. (15,000 Dth/d).

The Commission rejected the arguments of the Township of Nutley, NJ, and an individual, Andrew Shelofsky, that Transco had not adequately justified the need for the expansion project. When “‘an applicant has entered into contracts or precedent agreements for the proposed capacity,’ we take this as ‘significant evidence of demand for the project.’ Thus, we conclude that Transco has provided adequate support of market demand for its proposed project,” the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) countered in its order [CP12-30].

Immediately following the order, Shelofsky asked the Commission to stay the Transco project. “It is…requested that the Commission preserve the status quo and not allow Transco to commence with any construction activities (such as tree clearing activities) and including the use of eminent domain proceedings until a point in time at which the areas impacted by Superstorm Sandy have been returned to a state of normalcy (and no earlier than Dec. 1) and, further, to allow parties impacted by the Commission order sufficient time to review the order in its entirety and determine if, and what, additional action (judicial or otherwise) is required.” FERC has not responded.