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Spire files for early review of 400,000-Dth/d St. Louis line off of REX

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Spire files for early review of 400,000-Dth/d St. Louis line off of REX

Taking a step forward with aggressive growth plans, Midwestnatural gas utility conglomerate SpireInc. asked FERC to begin a prefiling review of a pipeline thatwould pull about 400,000 Dth/d of gas off the systemfor distribution in eastern Missouri.

"The project will serve the energy needs ofresidential, commercial and industrial customers in the eastern portion ofMissouri, including the St. Louis metropolitan area and surrounding counties,"Spire subsidiary Spire STL Pipeline LLC said in a July 11 request.

The Spire St. Louis pipeline project is part of theexpansion plans of Spire Inc., known until April as the Laclede Group. SpirePresident and CEO Suzanne Sitherwood describedthose plans in May at the American Gas Association's Financial Forum.

The Spire STL project would allow its foundation shipper,the gas utility and Spire affiliate LacledeGas Co., to receive gas from the Appalachian Basin. It wouldinclude approximately 60 miles of new 24-inch-diameter pipeline, running froman interconnection with the Rockies Express pipeline in Scott County, Ill., toa 20-inch-diameter transmission pipeline in St. Louis County, Mo., Line 880,owned by Laclede Gas. The project would also involve purchase of Line 880 fromLaclede Gas and modification of about nine miles of the pipeline that wouldconnect the new part of the project to EnableMidstream Partners's EnableMississippi River Transmission LLC pipeline in St. Louis County.The project would cross the Mississippi and Missouri rivers. Thetotal length of the project would run about 70 miles.

The project is anticipated to cost $170 million to $200million. Spire STL said it will hold an open season for the pipeline project inAugust. Negotiation of a precedent agreement with Laclede Gas is ongoing.

Spire expected to request a FERC certificate for the projectin November 2017. Spire estimated on its project timeline that constructionactivities would begin in February 2018 in order to meet an in-service date ofNov. 1, 2018.

Spire STL estimated that about 70% of the gas delivered bythe project would be used by Laclede Gas residential customers for heating anddomestic uses. The remaining 30% would be used by commercial and industrialcustomers. Laclede Gas has approximately 647,000 customers.

"In addition, the project [would] provide energyinfrastructure in southwest Illinois that may help support future commercialand industrial growth opportunities and the potential for future residentialnatural gas service in new franchise areas," Spire STL said. The projectis also expected to "support earthquake resiliency" and reliability.(PF16-9)