Williams has filed an amendment with the Federal EnergyRegulatory Commission requesting authorization to phaseconstruction of Transco pipeline’s MarketLink project over fouryears to satisfy requests by the project shippers.

Rather than the Nov. 1, 2001 in-service date for 700 MMcf/d ofdeliveries into the Northeast market, Williams’ Transco isproposing a multi-stage project, including Phase I by Nov. 1, 2001and Phase II by Nov. 1, 2002, for a total of about 296 MMcf/d at acost of $242 million. The remainder of the project will be furtherphased in as shippers firm up agreements. Williams expects theentire 700 MMcf/d to be in service by Nov. 1, 2004.

In its amendment filing (CP98-540-003) Williams pointed to delaysin siting and certification for new power generation customers, plusownership transfers. It did not mention delays in its own FERCcertification due to protests by citizen groups and the state of NewJersey. The state has filed a court suit to stop the project (seeDaily GPI, June 23). Nor did it mentiondelays in certification of the Independence and SupplyLink pipelineprojects, which FERC considered all part of one integrated system fromChicago to the Northeast. Independence has received its certificatebut still is subject to rehearing (see Daily GPI, July 14). Transco said MarketLink is notdependent on the other projects.

“The proposed phasing of construction will enable Williams toconstruct facilities necessary to meet the timing requirements ofthe market. Williams will file to construct additional phases ofthe project as shippers finalize their arrangements,” said GaryLauderdale, senior vice president and general manager, Williams’Transco pipeline system. “This filing clearly demonstrates strongmarket support for the project.”

In the amendment, Williams filed firm service agreements withseven shippers including Aquila Energy Marketing for 25,000 Dth/d;Consolidated Edison for 30,000 Dth/d; ConEdison Energy for 10,000Dth/d; St. Lawrence Cement for 1,000 Dth/d; and Williams EnergyMarketing & Trading for 100,000 Dth/d for a total of 166,000Dth/d for Phase I.

Phase II includes 100,000 Dth/d for Virginia Power EnergyMarketing, and 30,000 Dth/d for PPL EnergyPlus. Transco saidconstruction of the Phase I and Phase II facilities will notinvolve construction or impacts to any New Jersey Green Acresproperties, which had been part of the landowner disputes. Thecompany said it has reached agreement with about 74% of thelandowners required to construct Phase I and about 70% oflandowners for Phase II. The company has received all permits andclearances necessary from Pennsylvania and is awaiting action onthose from New Jersey.

Phases I and II of the project will require construction of 30miles of pipeline in Pennsylvania and 30 miles in New Jersey.Construction is expected to occur either parallel to or entirelywithin existing utility corridors. Construction of Phase 1 isscheduled to begin in April 2001 at a cost of $123 million. Theestimated cost of Phase 2 facilities is $119 million.

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