US-based energy company Kinder Morgan’s subsidiary Tennessee Gas Pipeline (TGP) has filed a certificate application with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to build a $5bn natural-gas pipeline.
The company plans to build a 419.66-mile long pipeline called Northeast Energy Direct Project (NED) to carry natural gas from the Marcellus region of Pennsylvania to the north eastern markets.
Upon receiving approval, certain construction activities on the project will begin in January 2017, with plans to bring the project on stream in November 2018.
Kinder Morgan East Region Natural Gas Pipelines president Kimberly S. Watson said: "Despite being just a few hundred miles from the most abundant and low-cost natural gas production area in the country, consumers in the North East pay some of the highest natural gas and electricity rates in the continental US.
"These higher prices are due, in large part, to natural gas pipeline infrastructure that is insufficient to meet the winter heating demand of local distribution companies (LDCs) and electric generators."
The project has two components, including ‘market path’ component and ‘supply path’ component with a maximum design capacity of 1.3 billion cubic feet per day (bcf/d) and 1.2 bcf/d, respectively.
In July this year, the company approved a plan to proceed with NED market path component and invest approximately $3.3bn into the project. However, the capital plan for supply path is yet to be decided.
The 133-mile long supply path pipeline will span from TGP’s existing 300 Line system in northern Pennsylvania, to an interconnection with TGP’s 200 Line system and Iroquois Gas Transmission System at Wright, New York, US.
The market path part will be a 188 miles line from Wright to a transmission hub in Dracut, north of Lowell.
It will also include 41 miles of a 36in diameter looping pipeline along its 300 Line in Bradford and Susquehanna counties in Pennsylvania.
The market path component also involves the construction and operation of six new compressor stations, and 27 new and modified meter and regulator stations.
The facilities of the market path component will be owned by Northeast Expansion, a joint venture between Kinder Morgan, Liberty Utilities and UIL Holdings Corporation.
Tennessee Gas Pipeline will construct the market path component facilities on behalf of the Northeast Expansion.
Watson said: "In order to meet demand during the past two winters, New England’s electric generators have had to rely on high-priced natural gas, expensive imported LNG and costly fuel oil purchased on the spot market. In short, New England has insufficient natural gas pipeline capacity serving the region.
"Adding the NED Project capacity to transport incremental natural gas supplies will ease natural gas capacity constraints and stands to provide significant benefits to energy consumers in the region, in the form of lower natural gas and electricity prices in coming years."
Image: The 188-mile Northeast Energy Direct Project will start from Tennessee Gas Pipeline’s existing 300 Line system in northern Pennsylvania. Photo: courtesy of Kinder Morgan.