TULSA, Okla.--(EON: Enhanced Online News)--Williams Partners L.P. (NYSE: WPZ) today reported that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has issued a certificate of public convenience and necessity authorizing the 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.
“While we are still reviewing details of the certificate order, we are pleased FERC has approved this much-needed energy infrastructure project which will leverage existing infrastructure to help millions of Americans gain access to affordable Pennsylvania-produced natural gas,” said Rory Miller, senior vice president of Williams Partners’ Atlantic-Gulf operating area. “Today, Pennsylvania is the second-largest producer of natural gas in the U.S. Projects like Atlantic Sunrise will help the state maximize the tremendous economic benefits that this local resource holds.”
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 the full project capacity to be placed into service in mid-2018.
“Williams' Atlantic Sunrise pipeline project is a nearly $3 billion investment that will encourage continued production of natural gas in the shale regions and investment in manufacturing throughout Pennsylvania. Infrastructure like this is needed to strengthen our energy portfolio, which also includes coal, nuclear and renewables. This project is among the largest private investments of capital ever made in this state and will support thousands of family-sustaining jobs during construction – many of them in blue-collar trade and manufacturing sectors – and hundreds of long-term jobs once operational,” said Gene Barr, president and CEO of the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry.
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.
Following a comprehensive nearly three-year review, the Order issued by the Commission concludes that the Atlantic Sunrise project will serve the public interest. On Dec. 30, 2016, FERC 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.
About Atlantic Sunrise
The Atlantic Sunrise expansion project consists of approximately 200 miles of pipe, including about 185 miles of new natural gas pipeline in Pennsylvania, 11 miles of pipeline looping in Pennsylvania, 2.5 miles of pipeline replacements in Virginia and associated equipment and facilities. The project’s proposed aboveground facilities include two new compressor stations in Pennsylvania, additional compression and related modifications to three existing compressor stations in Pennsylvania and Maryland; two new meter stations and three new regulator stations in Pennsylvania; and minor modifications at existing aboveground facilities at various locations in Pennsylvania, Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina, and South Carolina to allow for bi-directional flow.
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.
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. 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 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 approximately 74 percent of Williams Partners.
Portions of this document may constitute “forward-looking statements” as defined by federal law. Although the partnership believes any such statements are based on reasonable assumptions, there is no assurance that actual outcomes will not be materially different. Additional information about issues that could lead to material changes in performance is contained in the partnership’s annual and quarterly reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.