TransCanada Corp. announced Jan. 19 that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued an order approving the construction of the Leach XPress and Rayne XPress projects. The combined $1.8 billion investments will provide additional outlets to transport domestic, clean burning natural gas from the Marcellus and Utica production areas to higher-value Midwest and Gulf Coast markets.
The issuing of the certificates of public convenience and necessity follows the September release of FERC’s final environmental impact statement for the projects. Once remaining regulatory approvals are obtained, TransCanada plans to begin right-of-way preparation and construction activities on both projects in February, and is reviewing the projects’ overall timeline in an effort to maintain the proposed Nov. 1, 2017 in-service date.
“Approval of Leach XPress and Rayne XPress follows a very thorough review by the FERC,” said Stan Chapman, TransCanada’s senior vice-president and general manager, U.S. Natural Gas Pipelines. “These projects will create critically needed connectivity between the prolific, but constrained, Marcellus and Utica shale production areas and higher value markets. The projects will also create significant new jobs and tax revenues for communities along the projects’ routes.”
The approximately $1.4 billion investment in Leach XPress will enable the safe transport of approximately 1.5 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) of natural gas from the Marcellus and Utica supply basin to homes, businesses and industries. The 160-mile greenfield project crosses the northern panhandle of West Virginia and then traverses southeastern Ohio.
Rayne XPress primarily involves the construction of two new compressor stations along TransCanada’s existing Columbia Gulf system and is designed to create an additional 1.0 Bcf/d of capacity to efficiently transport Marcellus and Utica production to markets in the Gulf Coast region and beyond.
Both projects are underpinned by long-term, fixed-fee, firm transportation service agreements. They will be designed, constructed and operated with a core focus on safety and minimizing environmental impact.Tags: Marcellus-Utica, TransCanada