Federal regulators on Monday approved the start-up of Texas Eastern Transmission’s (Tetco) portion of the Stratton Ridge Expansion project, which is designed to provide natural gas to the Freeport LNG Development LP export project on the upper Texas coast.

FERC granted approval on Monday based on the most recent construction report and supplemental information, as well as inspections completed last month. The approval boosts Tetco capacity by 322,000 Dth/d, although the project’s full potential of up to 400,000 Dth/d would not be realized until the Freeport liquefied natural gas (LNG) project starts up later this year.

Last week, Genscape analysts said they expected Freeport’s initial LNG train to achieve first substantial production in mid-July, but said there were risks given the facility had yet to request fuel or feed gas. The first three trains, designed with the capacity to liquefy roughly 700 MMcf/d, are scheduled to enter service sequentially between 3Q2019 and 2Q2020 after being delayed last year.

The $100 million Stratton Ridge expansion enables additional bi-directional flow on the Tetco system while leasing capacity on the Brazoria Interconnector Gas Pipeline LLC intrastate system to allow for 322,000 Dth/d of additional firm transportation service to a delivery point near Stratton Ridge in Brazoria County, south of Houston [CP17-56, CP17-57].

The project includes a 12,500 hp Angleton Compressor Station in Brazoria County and a 0.5-mile, 30-inch diameter pipeline between the Angleton compressor and Brazoria’s system, along with various other modifications and facilities.

Brazoria owns and operates 30.5 miles of intrastate pipeline in Brazoria County running between Stratton Ridge and Iowa Colony. Tetco and Brazoria, subsidiaries of Enbridge Inc.-owned Spectra Energy Partners LP, filed in 1Q2017 to build the expansion.