Gulfstream Natural Gas System LLC said it plans to provide 155,000 Dth/d of incremental firm transportation capacity to serve Progress Energy’s repowered Bartow Power Plant in Pinellas County, FL. The Phase IV expansion project will be the first expansion of the 1.1 Bcf/d Gulfstream mainline, which extends 691 miles across the Gulf of Mexico to the Florida Peninsula from Alabama.

The project includes construction of 17.5 miles of 20-inch diameter pipeline that will connect the existing Gulfstream pipeline to the Bartow plant. The project also will require the installation of additional compression in Coden, AL, and Manatee County, FL.

“Not only will this project increase the reliability of Florida’s existing energy infrastructure, it will also make a significant contribution to the region’s air quality by providing this plant with cleaner-burning natural gas,” said Brad Reese, Gulfstream vice president.

In September 2005, Progress Energy announced its intent to convert its Bartow Power Plant to use more efficient natural gas technology. The changes are designed to more than double the facility’s electric output and reduce air emissions. Progress Energy will increase the plant’s output by 600 MW. The plan also includes the upgrading of an underground electric transmission line from the plant to a nearby substation. The $435 million repowering project is expected to begin in 2007 and take three years to complete. Three combined-cycle natural gas units will be built. The first unit is expected to be in service in June 2009, followed by the second in December 2009 and the third in June 2010.

Gulfstream also announced a project in March to add a 35-mile, 30-inch diameter pipeline lateral from Martin County to Florida Power & Light’s (FP&L) proposed 2,400 MW West County Energy Center in Palm Beach County under a new 23-year firm transportation agreement (see Daily GPI, March 28). The pipeline company expects to begin construction of the Phase III Extension for FP&L in early 2008 with a targeted completion of summer 2008.

Meanwhile, there are several transportation projects planned upstream of Gulfstream that could lead to further mainline expansions. Duke Energy Gas Transmission’s (DEGT) has started the FERC pre-filing process for a proposed 1 Bcf/d pipeline header system that would cross portions of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, linking the onshore natural gas supply basins in East Texas and northern Louisiana with growing markets in the Southeast, including the Florida market via Gulfstream.

Boardwalk Pipeline Partners LP subsidiary Gulf South Pipeline Co. LP also is testing the market for a 700,000 Dth/d expansion of its system. The Southeast Expansion Project would deliver gas from the Jackson, MS, area to Florida and the East Coast. Boardwalk has negotiated an agreement with Destin Pipeline to lease capacity on Destin’s system as an integral part of its Southeast Expansion Project. The 89 mile extension would interconnect with Destin in Clarke County, MS. From there, gas would be transported using Gulf South’s leased capacity on Destin to Florida markets through interconnects with Florida Gas Transmission and Gulfstream.

Columbia Gulf also is proposing expanding its onshore system and extending its East Lateral by about 90 miles from Venice, LA, to Pascagoula, MS, where it would interconnect with Gulfstream and potentially other area pipelines.

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