FERC Friday issued a favorable environmental assessment (EA) for North Baja Pipeline’s proposal to build the U.S. leg of a lateral between the United States and Mexico in Yuma County, AZ.

“We believe that the project as described and with the implementation of our recommendations would not have a significant impact on resources within the defined project area, and that approval of the proposal would not constitute a major federal action significantly affecting the quality of the human environment,” the staff of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and cooperating agencies, including the Bureau of Reclamation and Bureau of Land Management, said in the EA [CP08-152].

The proposed lateral would provide Arizona Public Service Co. (APS) with access to natural gas from North Baja’s mainline for use at the Yucca Power Plant as well as regasified liquefied natural gas (LNG) for the planned future power generation needs of APS. Sempra Energy’s North Baja line has executed a precedent agreement with APS to transport 81,250 Dth/d to the Yucca Power Plant.

APS is planning to expand its generating capacity at the Yucca Power Plant by adding two gas-fired turbine units totaling 96 MW.

The $8.5 million project calls for the construction of approximately 6.41 miles of 12-inch diameter pipeline, half in the U.S. and half in Mexico. The 3.14-mile-long Mexican segment would be constructed by Sempra’s Gasoducto Bajanorte S. de R.L. de C.V., and would connect with Sempra’s Gasoducto Bajanorte pipeline north of Algodones, Mexico, and extend to the international border.

The U.S. leg would be 3.27 miles of 12-inch diameter pipeline, extending from the international border at the Colorado River to the Yucca Power Plant. The U.S. facilities would lie entirely in Arizona. North Baja Pipeline has requested that FERC act on its application by Sept.1 so that it can achieve its targeted in-service date of Jan. 1, 2009.

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