NGS Investments LLC on Friday launched an open season to provide natural gas storage services by the Leaf River Energy Center, a salt cavern facility to be constructed in Smith County, MS, that would eventually provide 32 Bcf of capacity. The open season will run from Thursday (Oct. 20) to Dec. 8.

Customers will be offered flexible rates and terms for storage and hub services, NGS said. The center will offer firm storage with up to 12 turns per year, as well as traditional hub services. Access will be provided to multiple gas transmission pipelines through a pipeline header system that extends eastward to Clark County, MS, including interconnections with Tennessee Gas – Zone 1; Destin Pipeline; Dauphin Island; Transco – Zone 4; Sonat; Crosstex Mississippi System and the Gulf South Mississippi Expansion.

The Leaf River Energy Center facility will consist of several salt caverns and pipeline infrastructure to be constructed on a phased basis. The caverns will be created in two salt domes situated on more than 400 acres in Smith County. Current plans call for the development of an initial phase of 16 Bcf of capacity across both domes. In later phases the project will be expanded to its planned build-out of 32 Bcf. Pending timely regulatory approvals, the first cavern would be operational in late 2008.

In early 2007, NGS will seek authorization from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to construct and operate the facility under Section 7 (c) of the Natural Gas Act. It will seek, and expects to be granted, market-based rate treatment, NGS said. Based in Westport CT, NGS is a newly formed private company that plans to assemble a portfolio of flexible gas storage assets throughout North America. It said it is currently proceeding with projects in Colorado and Texas.

Potential shippers are invited to respond with expressions of their interest by contacting Laura Luce at (203) 557-4264, or via email at

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