Assuming FERC approval comes in the next few days, the much-anticipated Millennium Pipeline will go into service on Dec. 22, a Millennium Pipeline Co. LLC spokesman said Wednesday.

The pipeline had been scheduled to go into service on Monday but was delayed as the company finished last minute details (see Daily GPI, Dec. 17). Millennium spokesman Mike Armiak said the company anticipates FERC approval for the Dec. 22 in-service date to come before the end of the week.

Millennium, which will transport up to 525,400 Dth/d when it goes into service, is the centerpiece of a $1 billion investment in new energy infrastructure that includes new facilities by Empire State Pipeline, Algonquin Gas Transmission and Iroquois Gas Transmission. The pipeline is anchored by National Grid, Consolidated Edison of New York, Central Hudson Gas and Electric Corp. and Columbia Gas Transmission (CGT). Millennium is owned by affiliates of NiSource Inc., National Grid and DTE Energy.

The bidirectional pipeline will directly or indirectly serve markets in New York, New Jersey and New England. Western New York gas storage and production can be accessed directly through Millennium, and Canadian gas can be delivered through interconnections with Empire State Pipeline and National Fuel Gas Supply.

In late November Millennium said its 182-mile, 30-inch diameter gas pipeline across New York’s Southern Tier and lower Hudson Valley, which was proposed more than a decade ago, would be fully operational by Dec. 15 (see Daily GPI, Dec. 1). At that time Millennium said gas was flowing in portions of pipeline in Rockland, Orange, and Sullivan counties on behalf of CGT under an arrangement necessitated by the “lift and lay” construction method used on the eastern segments of the pipeline. In November the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) authorized CGT to begin service on portions of the Millennium Pipeline (see Daily GPI, Nov. 19).

FERC recently approved a contingency plan filed by Millennium that would allow the pipeline to begin operation this month even if the pipeline’s East Branch horizontal directional drill (HDD) was not completed in time to meet Millennium’s in-service date (see Daily GPI, Dec. 8). Millennium had said it incurred “significant delays” in attempting to complete the HDD at the East Branch of the Delaware River in Hancock, NY.

Earlier this week National Fuel Gas Supply subsidiary Empire Pipeline placed in service Empire Connector, one of five projects that make up the Northeast Project, or the reconfigured Millennium Pipeline project. Construction of the Empire pipeline was completed earlier this month and FERC gave Empire the green light to begin service on the 77-mile, 24-inch diameter connector that extends from near the terminus of Empire’s exiting 157-mile pipeline outside Rochester, NY, and runs south to Corning, NY, where it ties in with Millennium (see Daily GPI, Dec. 4).

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