Valley Crossing Pipeline LLC has been authorized by FERC to begin construction of its Border Crossing Project. The 1,000-foot stretch of 42-inch diameter pipeline would extend from a point in Texas state waters, located about 30 miles east of Brownsville, to the international border with the Mexican state of Tamaulipas, in the Gulf of Mexico [CP17-19].

In a letter order this week, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission granted Valley Crossing’s request to begin construction. The Commission also approved Houston-based company’s proposal to modify its tie-in methodology to conduct a subsea tie-in, rather than an above-water tie-in, which reduces potential stress on the pipelines and reduces the project’s environmental footprint.

FERC issued a presidential permit and granted authorization in October for Valley Crossing, a subsidiary of Enbridge Inc., to construct and operate the 2.6 Bcf/d cross-border natural gas pipeline between Texas and Mexico, where it will be used for power generation and industrial customers.

Valley Crossing has said that Infraestructura Marina del Golfo, S. de R.L. de C.V. (Marina), an unaffiliated Mexican pipeline, will construct approximately 500 miles of pipeline on the Mexican side of the border, with an interconnect at a border-crossing facility at the Port of Tuxpan.

Natural gas transported through the pipeline is expected to fuel power plants owned by Mexico’s Comision Federal de Electricidad. Enbridge said it hopes to enter the pipeline into service by October.

Last month, FERC granted certificate authorization for construction for a pair of separate but related pipeline efforts intended to support natural gas exports to Mexico, the Texas Eastern Transmission (Tetco) South Texas Expansion Project (STEP) and Pomelo Connector LLC’s Pomelo Connector Pipeline Project.

STEP would allow Tetco to provide 400,000 Dth/d of incremental service for the project’s anchor shipper and to increase the reliability and flexibility of service for all shippers on a portion of the Tetco system [CP15-499].

The Pomelo Connector is planned as a 14-mile-long, 30-inch diameter pipeline in Texas connecting Tetco with Valley Crossing. The pipeline would run from Tetco’s Petronila Station in Nueces County to its Valley Crossing interconnect near Agua Dulce, which is near Corpus Christi.