Sunday, October 26, 2008
By APRIL M. HAVENS
Transco pipeline, which delivers natural gas to customers in the Northeast and Southeast through a 10,500-mile system, plans a $53 million, 15-mile expansion to connect the liquefied natural gas terminal under construction in Pascagoula to a main line in Mobile County.
Preliminary expansion plans call for placing about 4.45 miles of the 26-inch pipeline in Mobile County, with the other 10.85 miles in Jackson County, said officials from Tulsa, Okla.-based The Williams Cos., which owns the Transco pipeline.
The project will also include a new meter station near Pascagoula and modifications to an existing Transco compressor station in Mobile County.
Williams and Florida Gas Transmission Co. are partnering for the expansion to connect Gulf LNG Energy’s liquefied natural gas import terminal in Pascagoula’s Bayou Casotte with the Mobile Bay Lateral portion of Transco’s pipeline.
Williams expects to file an application with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission next summer, but as part of its pre-filing, it must obtain public input on the project.
One public workshop is planned for Monday from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Grand Bay Senior and Community Center in Grand Bay. Another is planned for Tuesday from 5 to 7 p.m. at Pelican Landing Meeting and Conference Center in Moss Point.
“This is a very long process, and we are still in the early stages,” said Mike Kologinczak, project manager. “We are working hard to design this project in a way that balances environmental and landowner issues with the needs of the customer.”
LNG delivered to the new terminal via foreign producers will be converted back into its gaseous state by heating it, and pumped through a five-mile pipeline that will hook to the Transco expansion. The terminal is slated to be in service by fall 2011.
The pipeline will have a capacity of approximately 810,000 dekatherms a unit of measurement similar to a million cubic feet per day, said Carin Andre, a Williams spokeswoman.
According to the Energy Information Administration, that’s about 45 percent of the average daily consumption of natural gas in Mississippi and Alabama combined.
FERC must issue Williams a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity before work can move forward. Other local and state permits are also required.
A variety of environmental factors are considered when planning a project such as this, Andre said, including impacts to water resources, fish, vegetation and soil.
Andre said that all landowners who may be affected will be contacted before the public meetings.
“It’s important for the landowners to be there,” she said, so that they can talk one-on-one with Williams representatives and view maps and other displays.
Once it secures needed permits, Williams plans to start construction in spring 2011, to be finished in time for the LNG terminal’s completion that fall.