Williams Partners L.P. (NYSE: WPZ) today announced that its Transco pipeline system received binding commitments from shippers for 100 percent of the 448,000 dekatherms of firm transportation capacity under its Dalton Expansion Project, which would support providing access to Marcellus shale gas supplies to customers in northwest Georgia for incremental electricity generation and growing local distribution load. Additionally, AGL Resources (NYSE: GAS) has entered into agreements with Williams Partners to jointly fund the Georgia lateral portion of the expansion.
"The Dalton Expansion Project is one of six large-volume projects Transco is pursuing to connect approximately 3.4 million dekatherms of natural gas from surging supplies in the northeast to high-value growth markets in the southeast," said Rory Miller, senior vice president of Williams Partners' Atlantic-Gulf operating area. "By year-end 2017, we expect to add more than 50 percent to Transco's system capacity with mainline expansions that include the Dalton Expansion Project, Atlantic Sunrise, Leidy Southeast, Virginia Southside and others to meet the increasing demand for natural gas in the region."
Transco is already the nation's largest-volume interstate natural gas pipeline system. It delivers natural gas to customers through its 10,200-mile pipeline network whose mainline extends nearly 1,800 miles between South Texas and New York City. The system is a major provider of cost-effective natural gas services that reach U.S. markets in 12 Southeast and Atlantic Seaboard states, including major metropolitan areas in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. In February, Williams Partners announced that Transco had received binding commitments from producers, local distribution companies and power generators for 100 percent of the 1.7 million dekatherms of firm transportation capacity on its proposed Atlantic Sunrise expansion project to serve demand centers along the Atlantic Seaboard.
The Dalton Expansion Project is designed to serve electric generation and local distribution natural gas needs in Georgia. It consists of an expansion of Transco's mainline from its Station 210 in New Jersey to points as far south as Holmesville, Miss. and a new 106-mile lateral pipeline from Transco's Station 115 to Murray County, Ga. Also included in the proposal is a new compressor facility in Carroll County, Ga., as well as three new metering facilities and other related pipe and valve modifications to existing facilities. Transco's net investment in the total project is expected to be approximately $275 million.
To fund the lateral pipeline portion of the project, Williams Partners' Transco and AGL Resources have entered into an ownership arrangement whereby each party would hold a 50 percent undivided joint ownership in the lateral pipeline in Georgia. Under the proposal, AGL Resources would lease its ownership interest in the lateral to Transco. The agreements between Williams Partners and AGL Resources are subject to board approvals.
Construction is planned to begin in April 2016 with completion targeted for 2017, subject to all necessary or required approvals by regulatory bodies, including the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). Williams Partners has submitted its pre-filing request to FERC for the project.