FERC Monday issued a favorable environmental assessment (EA) of Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line’s (Transco) proposed expansion of its mainline from Compressor Station 85 in Choctaw, AL, to markets as far downstream as North Carolina.

“Approval of the proposed project, with appropriate mitigating measures, would not constitute a major federal action significantly affecting the quality of the human environment,” the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission said in the EA [CP11-18].

The project would supply an additional 225,000 Dth/d to Transco’s existing mainline system from the Clean Energy LNG import terminal, which is currently under construction in Pascagoula, MS, by Gulf LNG Energy. The proposed terminal is 50% owned by El Paso Corp., 30% by the Crest Group (a private equity group in New York) and 20% by Sonangol USA (affiliated with Sonangol Group, which is a partially state-owned corporation that oversees energy production in Angola).

When the expansion is completed, Transco, a Williams pipeline, would have the capability to serve growing markets in the East as far downstream as Rockingham County, NC, the FERC EA notice said.

The project calls for the construction of five loops, totaling about 22.6 miles of 42-inch diameter pipeline, in Alabama and North Carolina; the installation of a new compressor station (Station 95) in Dallas County, AL; and additional compression at existing stations in Marengo County, AL, and Walton County, GA. It also proposes upgrades at compressor stations in Coosa County, AL; Coweta County, GA; Henry County, GA; Spartanburg County, SC; and Cleveland County, NC, according to the FERC notice.

Transco said it plans to place the expansion in service in phases in September 2012 and June 2013. The pipeline estimates the cost of the expansion at $217 million.

Transco is a 10,000-mile pipeline system, extending from South Texas to New York City. It is a major transporter of gas to the southeastern region of the country.

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