Williams Partners said its Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Company, LLC (Transco) has filed for FERC approval to construct a 475,000 dekatherm per day (Dth/d) gas pipeline expansion in Texas and Louisiana to connect U.S. natural gas supplies with global liquefied natural gas (LNG) markets.
Constructed in two phases, the Gulf Connector Project is designed to deliver 75,000 Dth/d to Freeport LNG Development, L.P.’s liquefaction project by the second half of 2018, and 400,000 Dth/d to Cheniere Energy’s Corpus Christi liquefaction terminal in 2019. Pending appropriate regulatory approvals, construction on the first phase of the project will begin in the third quarter of 2017 in order to be placed into service during the second half of 2018.
Both of the liquefaction facilities are currently under construction. The Freeport LNG export terminal will have three liquefaction trains with expected aggregate export capacity of 15.3 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) and is planned to commence operations in phases between September 2018 and August 2019. Cheniere Energy’s Corpus Christi liquefaction terminal is proposed to have up to five liquefaction trains (two of which are under construction) with expected aggregate nominal production capacity of up to 22.5 mtpa of LNG. Trains one and two at the Corpus Christi liquefaction terminal are expected to reach substantial completion in 2019.
“This project underscores how the abundance of natural gas in the U.S. is changing the global energy landscape,” said Rory Miller, senior vice president of Williams Partners’ Atlantic-Gulf operating area. “The U.S. is projected to become the world’s third-largest LNG supplier in five years. Projects like Gulf Connector, which leverage existing gas pipeline infrastructure, make it possible to connect abundant domestic supply with emerging international markets, giving a boost to the U.S. economy while helping meet the world’s increasing energy needs.”
Williams Partners is well-positioned to take advantage of the projected surge in LNG demand growth, as its Transco pipeline passes through every U.S. state with an LNG export facility currently under construction. Natural gas demand to serve LNG export facilities along the Transco pipeline is expected to grow by approximately 11,000 MDth/d by 2025.
The Gulf Connector Project involves adding compression and making the natural gas flow bi-directional on a portion of the Transco system between Louisiana and South Texas. The project has been designed to provide incremental firm transportation from Transco’s Station 65 in St. Helena Parish, La. to mainline interconnects with proposed header pipelines in Wharton County, Texas and San Patricio County, Texas.
The project, which is included in Williams Partners’ 2016 and 2017 growth capital plan that includes $1.3 billion in 2016 and $2.4 billion in 2017 for Transco expansions and other interstate pipeline growth projects, is fully subscribed by Osaka Gas Trading & Export, LLC, whose affiliate is a limited partner of Freeport LNG Development, L.P., and Corpus Christi Liquefaction, LLC, a subsidiary of Cheniere Energy. Both have executed long-term, firm transportation agreements with Transco.
As previously announced, Williams Partners is also building the Gulf Trace Project to serve Cheniere Energy’s Sabine Pass Liquefaction project in Cameron Parish, La., the first large-scale LNG export facility in operation in the continental United States. The Gulf Trace Project is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2017.
Transco is a wholly owned subsidiary of Williams Partners, of which Williams (NYSE: WMB) owns controlling interests and is the general partner. Transco is the nation’s largest and fastest-growing interstate natural gas transmission 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 provides cost-effective natural gas services to U.S. markets in the Southeast and Atlantic seaboard states, including major metropolitan areas in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, as well as international markets.