Piedmont Natural Gas plans to construct, own and operate a liquefied natural gas (LNG) peak storage facility in North Carolina, the company said Monday.

Charlotte, NC-based Piedmont is evaluating several sites in Robeson County, NC, and said it expects to make a final selection within weeks. The facility would store up to about 1.25 Bcf and is planned to be in service for the 2012-2013 heating season. Piedmont’s investment is expected to range from $300-350 million.

The facility would be the fifth peak storage facility that Piedmont owns or operates within its three-state service area. The company has two LNG facilities in North Carolina and one in Nashville, TN. Piedmont is also an equity partner in Pine Needle LNG, a joint venture with subsidiaries of Williams, SCANA Corp., Hess Corp. and the Municipal Gas Authority of Georgia. Pine Needle owns and operates an LNG peak storage facility near Greensboro, NC.

“The Robeson County LNG facility will provide us with needed additional capacity to meet the firm requirements of our growing customer base in the Carolinas,” said Piedmont CEO Thomas E. Skains.

There are more than 100 LNG peak storage facilities in operation throughout the United States. Earlier this year what would be the first LNG storage facility in Florida received environmental approval at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (see Daily GPI, March 25).

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