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Columbia Gas gets OK for full construction on Mountaineer XPress expansion

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Columbia Gas gets OK for full construction on Mountaineer XPress expansion

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission granted a TransCanada Corp. unit permission to begin full construction work on the 2.7-Bcf/d Mountaineer XPress natural gas expansion project.

In response to an Aug. 3 request from project developer Columbia Gas Transmission LLC, FERC staff issued approval for work on sections of the pipeline previously prohibited by the commission. The project will include over 170 miles of new pipeline, with receipt points in West Virginia, Ohio and Pennsylvania providing service. The expansion, along with Columbia Gulf Transmission LLC's Gulf XPress project, will provide incremental gas transportation capacity between the Northeast and the Gulf Coast. (FERC docket CP16-361)

According to TransCanada spokesman Scott Castleman, the project's cost is estimated at about $3 billion, an increase from an original $2 billion price tag. Company executives in April said costs for Mountaineer XPress and other pipeline projects increased in response to regulatory delays, increased demand for construction materials and other modifications.

Castleman also said the project remains on track for its expected in-service date of the fourth quarter of 2018.

Columbia Gas applied for the project in April 2016. In late December 2017, FERC authorized the expansion designed to deliver gas to a Columbia Gulf interconnect in Kentucky and to Columbia Gas' TCO Pool hub. Columbia Gas and Columbia Gulf are part of Columbia Pipeline Group Inc., a TransCanada subsidiary. (FERC docket CP16-357)