Gulfstream Natural Gas System said Friday it has begun construction of a 110-mile mainline extension that will lengthen its system’s reach from Central Florida to the state’s east coast and double its service territory. The extension is expected to be completed by December of this year.

The existing 581-mile Gulfstream system, which went into service in May 2002, extends from Alabama and Mississippi, through the Gulf of Mexico, and comes ashore south of Tampa Bay, FL, where it continues on to Central Florida. The 30-inch diameter mainline pipe would extend Gulfstream’s system into eastern Florida, where it would compete with Florida Gas Transmission (FGT).

The estimated cost of the project is $238 million, said Chris Stockton, a spokesman for Gulfstream, which is jointly owned by Williams and Duke Energy. The extension will not increase the existing transportation capacity of Gulfstream, which is 1.1 Bcf/d.

The project shouldn’t be viewed as the last construction phase of the Gulfstream system, Stockton said. “We’ll still be pursuing future expansion opportunities,” he told NGI. The Florida Public Service Commission projects that the natural gas needs of Florida’s power generators will more than double in the next decade, Gulfstream said.

The mainline extension will require construction in five Florida counties: Polk, Hardee, Highlands, Okeechobee and Martin. Approximately 40% of the construction is co-located with existing road or utility corridors, the pipeline said.

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