The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission gave approvals Wednesday for Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Corp., ANR Pipeline and Tennessee Gas Pipeline to move forward with pipeline projects to serve new power generation plants in the East, Midwest and Mexico.

Transco was awarded a certificate to build a 7.17-mile, 36-inch diameter pipeline loop of its existing Trenton Woodbury Line in Mercer and Burlington Counties, NJ, as well as a 2.48-mile lateral extension from the Trenton Woodbury Line to a new power plant being constructed on behalf of Fairless Energy in Bucks County, PA.

The pipeline facilities will provide an additional 51,037 Dth/d of natural gas and delivery flexibility to two existing Transco firm transportation customers, PECO Energy Co. and Virginia Power Energy Marketing Inc. (VAPEM), the order said [CP02-204]. PECO will use the gas to meet its gas distribution demand, while VAPEM will use it to fuel the planned Fairless Energy generating plant.

The Trenton Woodbury Expansion facilities are expected to be in service on Nov. 1, 2003, and the lateral extension to serve the Fairless facility is due to be in operation on Aug. 1, 2003.

In a separate order, the Commission awarded preliminary determination (PD) to ANR to expand its existing Madison Lateral line with a 26.3-mile, 30-inch diameter loop, extending from an interconnect with ANR’s mainline in McHenry County, IL, to just east of Janesville, WI, and to upgrade its Beloit Lateral line in Rock County, WI, with 6.5 miles of 20-inch diameter pipe [CP02-434].

The so-called WestLeg Project expansion is intended to increase ANR’s capacity to supply gas to the Madison and Janesville, WI, market areas by 220 MDth/d, with 86.5 MDth/d to be used to replace volumes currently transported on behalf of ANR by Northern Natural Gas Co. The pipeline said it also has negotiated a precedent agreement with Wisconsin Power and Light Co. for 60 MDth/d under a 9.5-year term, which will be used to supply gas to a new 600 MW power plant being constructed by Calpine Corp. in Beloit, WI.

ANR told the Commission it was actively seeking customers for the remaining unsubscribed capacity of 43.5 MDth/d. It estimated the total cost of the WestLeg Project will be $42 million.

Lastly, FERC issued a certificate, Section 3 authorization and presidential permit to Tennessee to build a lateral pipeline, looping, and metering and compression facilities (South Texas Expansion Project) to provide service to a developing power generation complex in northern Mexico. The project would supply up to 320,000 Dth/d of firm transportation and export capacity to fuel four electric power plants in the northern Mexico municipalities of Rio Bravo and Valle Hermoso, State of Tamaulipas [CP02-116, CP02-117]. Two of the facilities currently are receiving service from Pemex Gas y Petroquimica Basica.

The project specifically calls for Tennessee to build in Hidalgo County, TX, a 9.28-mile, 30-inch diameter lateral (Rio Bravo Lateral) from the pipeline’s Donna Line to a border crossing. The crossing facilities will consist of 1,000 feet of 30-inch pipeline from the Rio Bravo Lateral to the midpoint of the Rio Grande River, where they would interconnect with a new pipeline being constructed in Mexico by Gasoducto del Rio. In addition, Tennessee plans to build 7.58 miles of 24-inch diameter pipeline loop adjacent to the Donna Line, along with the compression and metering facilities.

Tennessee said it has executed 15-year binding precedent agreements with three shippers — MGI Supply Ltd., El Paso Merchant Energy LP, and EDF International — for the entire 320,000 Dth/d capacity to be created by the $39.8 million expansion project.

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