Transco files FERC application for Gulf Connector gas pipeline

Williams Partners LP’s Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Co. LLC (Transco) applied with the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for authorization to build its Gulf Connector project, a 475-MMcfd expansion in Texas and Louisiana to connect US natural gas supplies with global LNG markets. Transco will build Gulf Connector in two phases: one delivering 75 MMcfd to Freeport LNG Development LP’s liquefaction plant by second-half 2018, the other 400 MMcfd to Cheniere Energy’s Corpus Christi liquefaction plant in 2019.

Pending regulatory approvals, Phase I construction will begin in third-quarter 2017. Both liquefaction plants are already being built.

The Freeport LNG export plant will have three liquefaction trains totaling 15.3 million tonnes/year (tpy) and is planned to start operations in phases between September 2018 and August 2019. Cheniere Energy’s Corpus Christi liquefaction plant will include as many as five liquefaction trains—two of which are under construction—totalling as much as 22.5 million tpy. Trains 1 and 2 at Corpus Christi are expected to be completed in 2019.

Gulf Connector involves adding compression and making gas flow bidirectional on a portion of the Transco system between Louisiana and South Texas. It will provide incremental firm transportation from Transco’s Station 65 in St. Helena Parish, La., to mainline interconnects with proposed header pipelines in Wharton and San Patricio Counties, Tex.

The project, which is included in Williams’s 2016 and 2017 $3.7-billion growth capital plan, is fully subscribed by Osaka Gas Trading & Export LLC, whose affiliate is a limited partner of Freeport LNG Development LP and Corpus Christi Liquefaction LLC, a Cheniere subsidiary. Both have executed long-term, firm transportation agreements with Transco.

Williams also is building the Gulf Trace project to serve Cheniere Energy’s Sabine Pass Liquefaction plant in Cameron Parish, La., the first large-scale LNG export site in the continental US. Gulf Trace is expected to be completed first-quarter 2017 (OGJ Online, Apr. 15, 2016).

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