NiSource’s Columbia Gas Transmission Corp. told FERC Wednesday that service on the Millennium Phase 1 project, which would provide about 525,400 Dth/d of new firm transportation capacity to markets in New York and New England, will be delayed a year to Nov. 1, 2008.

The company cited a variety of reasons for the delay, including the complexities of having four pipeline companies involved in construction, the state and federal regulatory requirements and the increasing lead time associated with acquiring pipe, compressors and related equipment and hiring contractors to do the job given the many other large energy infrastructure projects in the works.

Millennium Phase 1 is an alternative to, and a scaled-down version of, the original Millennium Pipeline project that FERC approved in September 2002. The project was blocked by New York state over environmental concerns associated with its Hudson River crossing near Haverstraw Bay. Millennium restructured the project to avoid crossing the river and is utilizing a number of other existing pipelines to serve demand in New York City and the region.

The Phase 1 project is really an amalgamation of five projects: a portion of the original Millennium proposal; Columbia’s Line A-5 Replacement project; Empire Pipeline’s Connector project; Algonquin Gas Transmission’s Ramapo Expansion project; and Iroquois Gas Transmission’s MarketAccess project.

The Phase 1 project calls for the construction of about 181 miles of 30-inch diameter pipeline from Corning, NY, to Ramapo, NY, as well as the acquisition of pipeline facilities from Columbia Gas. The Columbia portion of the project entails the abandonment in place and by removal of nearly 170 miles of its Line A-5 pipeline in New York. Millennium would remove Columbia’s pipeline when its installs its line in the same location. The project also includes the abandonment by sale of nearly 70 miles of Columbia’s Line A-5 Line pipeline to Millennium. In addition, Columbia proposes to replace 8.8 miles of eight- and 16-inch diameter segments of its Line A-5 pipeline with a larger 30-inch diameter pipeline in Orange and Rockland Counties, NY.

The Empire Connector project, upstream of Millennium, includes the construction of 78 miles of 24-inch pipeline and associated facilities from Victor, NY, to interconnect with the Millennium Pipeline at its proposed Corning Compressor Station, as well as a new compressor station in Oakfield, NY.

Meanwhile, Algonquin Gas is seeking authorization to add 4.9 miles of pipeline to replace its existing 26-inch diameter mainline with a 42-inch diameter pipeline and associated facilities in New York, along with additional compression. And Iroquois’ associated MarketAccess project would involve the addition of a 7,700 hp compressor station at Brookfield, CT.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued draft supplemental environmental approval of Millennium Phase 1 last month (see Daily GPI, June 12). FERC staff concluded that the project, with “appropriate mitigating measures, as recommended, would have limited adverse environmental impact.”

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