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TRANSCO PLANS TO FILE SOUTHEAST EXPANSION PROJECTS; ANNOUNCES OPEN SEASON TO OFFER 200 MMCF/D OF FIRM CAPACITY

 HOUSTON, Sept. 28 /PRNewswire/ -- Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Corporation (TGPL), a subsidiary of Transco Energy Company (NYSE: E), plans to seek approval for a series of expansions of its mainline system that would provide firm transportation capacity to serve its growing southeastern markets in Alabama, Georgia, South and North Carolina and southern Virginia.
 The proposed Southeast Expansion Projects, which will replace the previously proposed Blue Ridge Pipeline project, will begin providing service in 1994 and will ultimately provide a total of 200 million cubic feet per day (MMcf/d) of firm transportation capacity by the 1996-1997 winter heating season. The incremental firm transportation capacity will extend from TGPL's Mobile Bay pipeline interconnect near Butler, Alabama to points upstream of TGPL's compressor station 165 near Chatham, Va. TGPL estimates the cost of the expansions to be $127 million and will design project rates based on the straight fixed-variable rate design methodology.
 TGPL will hold a 21-day "open season" period beginning Sept. 29 and ending Oct. 20, during which it will accept nominations from shippers interested in the firm transportation capacity to be created by the Southeast Expansion Projects.
 "These projects will meet a critical need for additional capacity in our rapidly expanding southeastern markets," said John P. DesBarres, Transco's chairman, president and chief executive officer. "As expansions of existing mainline facilities, these projects will enable TGPL to meet its customers' needs in a timely and cost-effective manner, with substantially less environmental impact than new pipeline construction. The Southeast Expansion Projects are also strategically aligned with the recently approved expansion of TGPL's Mobile Bay pipeline, a major source of gas supplies to our customers. These projects are a tangible result of TGPL's market responsiveness and commitment to serving the needs of its customers."
 John H. Maxheim, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Piedmont Natural Gas Company, Inc. (Piedmont), said, "Piedmont is fully in support of TGPL's plans to transport additional firm gas supplies to the Carolinas. We are pleased that TGPL is taking this active step to serve our present and future customers."
 Charles E. Zeigler, Jr., chairman, president and chief executive officer of Public Service Company of North Carolina, Inc. (PSNC), remarked, "TGPL is performing a great service for the citizens of North Carolina by bringing this interstate pipeline capacity into our state on a cost-efficient, timely basis. This new major project should significantly help us continue to serve our customers throughout the 1990s."
 The 1994 Southeast Expansion Project (SE94), which TGPL expects to file with FERC in November 1993, will provide 35 MMcf/d of incremental firm capacity and is expected to be in service by the 1994-1995 winter heating season. The 1995-1996 Southeast Expansion Project (SE95-96) will be filed in December 1993, and will be constructed in two phases. Phase I will add 115 MMcf/d of incremental firm capacity for the 1995- 1996 winter heating season, and Phase II will add the remaining 50 MMcf/d for the 1996-1997 winter heating season.
 Subject to FERC approval, construction is scheduled to begin in June 1994 for SE94, May 1995 for Phase I of SE95-96 and May 1996 for Phase II of SE95-96. The expansion facilities will include approximately 25 miles of pipeline replacement and looping and the installation of additional compression totaling approximately 70,000 horsepower.
 TGPL owns and operates a 10,000-mile pipeline system that extends from the Gulf of Mexico to New York City and controls the largest gas gathering system in the Gulf of Mexico. Transco Energy Company transports natural gas through its interstate pipeline systems to markets in the eastern and midwestern United States and arranges for the transportation and sale of natural gas throughout the U.S. Transco also maintains modest positions in other energy-related businesses.
 -0- 9/28/93
 /CONTACT: Terri M. Kainer, 713-439-4263, or (investors) R. Dean Ayers, 713-439-2593, both of Transco/
 (E)


CO: Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Corporation; Transco Energy Company ST: Texas IN: OIL SU:

MP -- NY042 -- 6325 09/28/93 11:06 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Sep 28, 1993
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