East Tennessee Natural Gas (ETNG) pipeline has executed agreements with Eastman Chemical Co. to provide an additional 86 MMcf/d of firm gas transportation capacity for 25 years to Eastman’s Kingsport, TN, facility. The projects have a combined capital cost of about $120 million and include modifying existing ETNG facilities and building a new 6.4-mile pipeline extension. Coupled with Eastman’s current contracts, ETNG will provide 121 MMcf/d of firm capacity to the Kingsport facility when the projects are completed. The first project, for service of 25 MMcf/d, is expected to begin in November. The Kingsport Expansion Project, to provide 61 MMcf/d, is expected to be in service during the first quarter of 2015. The projects are subject to board and regulatory approvals. ETNG is a unit of Spectra Energy Corp. and Spectra Energy Partners LP.

The Canadian National Railway is testing two diesel-electric locomotives fueled by natural gas, operating between Edmonton and the oilsands hub of Fort McMurray in Alberta. The retrofitted 4,300-hp locomotives use 90% natural gas and 10% diesel for ignition. The Canadian rail company said it is working with engine maker Westport Innovations Inc. and a subsidiary of Gaz Metro to design a standardized natural gas railway engine, for which a prototype is expected to be ready for testing in 2014. While the rail market niche is not expected to be a high-growth segment, environmental drivers, more than fuel costs, are likely to be a big motivator, industry officials said. It is still too early to come to any final conclusions about the future role of natural gas, a spokesperson said.

Salt Lake City-based Questar Fueling has signed an agreement to build, own and operate a compressed natural gas (CNG) fueling station in Houston to serve at least 200 natural gas-powered trucks operated by Swift Transportation and Central Freight Lines. Questar said the trucks represent an estimated load of up to 5 million gallons equivalent of natural gas annually. Most of the trucks will use a private, time-fill facility for fueling overnight, but there also will be a public high-speed fueling facility offering five service lanes. Questar Corp. CEO Ron Jibson characterized Swift and Central Freight as “best-in-class” carriers who recognize the value of natural gas as a transportation fuel.

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