FERC Thursday awarded a favorable preliminary determination to Kinder Morgan Louisiana Pipeline LLC to build a 135-mile, mostly 42-inch diameter pipeline that would provide service from Cheniere LNG’s 2.6 Bcf Sabine Pass import terminal, which is under construction in Cameron Parish, LA, to multiple natural gas pipelines.

The estimated $490 million project calls for the pipeline company, a subsidiary of Houston-based Kinder Morgan Energy Partners LP, to build a transportation system to deliver revaporized liquefied natural gas (LNG) from the import facility being constructed by Sabine Pass LNG to interconnections with various interstate and intrastate pipelines in Louisiana, including Kinder Morgan affiliate Natural Gas Pipeline Company of America (NGPL). The proposed pipeline would have an overall peak-day capacity of up to 3,395 MDth/d [CP06-499].

Kinder Morgan Louisiana proposes to build the pipeline in two legs. The first leg would consist of 132 miles of 42-inch diameter pipe that would extend from the terminal to a point of interconnection with an existing Columbia Gulf Transmission line in Evangeline Parish, LA. The leg would have a firm, peak-day capacity of up to 2,130 MDth/d. This part of the project also includes the construction of a 2.3-mile, 24-inch diameter lateral that would extend from the Kinder Morgan Louisiana line to an existing Florida Gas Transmission (FGT) compressor station in Acadia Parish, LA.

In addition to NGPL, Columbia Gulf and FGT, the Kinder Morgan Louisiana pipeline would connect with ANR Pipeline, Sabine Pipe Line LLC, Tennessee Gas Pipeline, Texas Eastern Transmission, Texas Gas Transmission, Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line, Trunkline Gas and the Southwest Loop Delivery Point.

The second leg would consist of a one-mile, 36-inch diameter pipe that would extend from the Sabine Pass terminal to a point of interconnection with NGPL’s pipeline located north of the terminal. It would have a firm peak-day capacity of up to 1,265 MDth/d, and would include 200,000 Dth/d of capacity that NGPL is seeking to lease to Kinder Morgan Louisiana on a long-term, firm basis in southwest Louisiana. The two legs combined would deliver at least 3,395 MDth/d into the pipeline grid and storage.

In order to coincide with the anticipated in-service date of the Sabine Pass import terminal, Kinder Morgan Louisiana has requested a pipeline certificate by June. This would allow Kinder Morgan to have the first leg of the project ready for service by Oct. 1, 2008, and the second leg ready for operation “as soon as possible thereafter, but in no event later than April 1, 2009.”

The project was conceived by Total Gas & Power North America Inc. and Chevron U.S.A. Inc., which issued a public request for proposals looking for a company to build a pipeline that could transport revaporized LNG from the tailgate of the Sabine Pass LNG terminal, where each company has 1 Bcf of firm capacity.

Kinder Morgan Louisiana held an open season in September 2005 for capacity on the proposed line. Since no shippers other than Total and Chevron submitted bids, the entire firm capacity of the project was awarded to the two companies, Kinder Morgan said. The companies have negotiated precedent agreements with Kinder Morgan Louisiana.

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