TULSA, Okla.--(EON: Enhanced Online News)--Williams Partners (NYSE: WPZ) today reported it has reached a key regulatory milestone toward obtaining federal approval to construct its proposed Atlantic Sunrise expansion project – an expansion of the existing Transco natural gas pipeline to connect abundant Marcellus gas supplies with markets in the Mid-Atlantic and Southeastern U.S.
“The final Environmental Impact Statement underscores our collaborative efforts to design the Atlantic Sunrise project in a manner that minimizes environmental impacts, while fulfilling the critical need of connecting consumers all along the East Coast with abundant, cost-effective Pennsylvania natural gas supplies by leveraging our existing Transco pipeline infrastructure”
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) on Dec. 30 published its final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the proposed project, concluding that environmental impacts would be reduced to “less than significant levels” with the implementation of mitigation measures proposed by the company and FERC.
“The final Environmental Impact Statement underscores our collaborative efforts to design the Atlantic Sunrise project in a manner that minimizes environmental impacts, while fulfilling the critical need of connecting consumers all along the East Coast with abundant, cost-effective Pennsylvania natural gas supplies by leveraging our existing Transco pipeline infrastructure,” said Rory Miller, senior vice president of Williams Partners’ Atlantic-Gulf operating area.
The FERC action is a key step toward the Commission's final decision on the project, which is expected in early 2017. Following the receipt of all necessary regulatory approvals, Williams Partners anticipates beginning construction on the mainline portion of the project facilities in mid-2017. These mainline facilities will create a much-needed path from the northern part of the Transco system to markets along the Eastern Seaboard for a portion of the project capacity in time for the 2017-2018 heating season. Construction on the Central Penn Line, the greenfield portion of the project, is targeted to begin early in the 3rd Quarter of 2017, which would allow for those facilities to be placed into service in mid-2018.
The FERC EIS assesses the potential environmental effects of the construction and operation of the project in accordance with the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act. The FERC is the primary approval agency and serves in a coordinating role with other relevant agencies.
About Atlantic Sunrise
Once complete, the Atlantic Sunrise expansion will help alleviate infrastructure bottlenecks in Pennsylvania, connecting abundant Marcellus gas supplies with markets in the Mid-Atlantic and Southeastern U.S. The nearly $3 billion expansion of the existing Transco natural gas pipeline is designed to increase deliveries by 1.7 billion cubic feet per day (enough to provide service to seven million homes). Williams Partners’ net investment in the Atlantic Sunrise project is expected to be approximately $1.9 billion.
Pennsylvania State University researchers forecast the Atlantic Sunrise project to directly and indirectly support approximately 8,000 jobs in the 10 Pennsylvania counties during the project’s construction phase, resulting in an estimated $1.6 billion economic impact in the project area.
Additional information about the Atlantic Sunrise project can be found at www.williams.com/atlanticsunrise.
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.
About Williams Partners
Williams Partners (NYSE: WPZ) is an industry-leading, large-cap natural gas infrastructure master limited partnership with a strong growth outlook and major positions in key U.S. supply basins. Williams Partners has operations across the natural gas value chain from gathering, processing and interstate transportation of natural gas and natural gas liquids to petchem production of ethylene, propylene and other olefins. Williams Partners owns and operates more than 33,000 miles of pipelines system wide – including the nation’s largest volume and fastest growing pipeline – providing natural gas for clean-power generation, heating and industrial use. Williams Partners’ operations touch approximately 30 percent of U.S. natural gas. Tulsa, Okla.-based Williams (NYSE: WMB), a premier provider of large-scale U.S. natural gas infrastructure, owns 60 percent of Williams Partners, including all of the 2 percent general-partner interest. www.williams.com