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Equitrans gets FERC approval to replace 21 miles of old Pa. gas pipeline

FERC approved an EquitransLP project to upgrade old gas pipeline in western Pennsylvania thatpredates federal safety standards.

Equitrans notified FERC of its acceptance of the authorizingcertificate in a letter filed April 12. The TP-371 replacement seeks to install 20.8 miles of pipelineand associated facilities in Armstrong and Indiana counties. The project is expectedto cost about $93 million. The new pipeline infrastructure would replace existingfacilities in the Allegheny Valley Connector System that have deteriorated overtime.

"Equitrans's project will address identified issues relatedto aging pipeline infrastructure which could ultimately impact existing service,"FERC said in its April 6 order.

The TP-371 pipeline stretches for about 36 miles from a tie-inwith the Allegheny Valley system in Armstrong County to another tie-in with thesystem in Westmoreland County, Pa. The pipeline was built in the 1950s and 1960s,before federal minimum safety standards for pipelines. The current pipeline is coveredwith tar and mill wrap, while the replacement pipeline will comply with U.S. Departmentof Transportation and U.S. Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administrationstandards.

The Allegheny Valley Connector System has been undergoing renovationsfor "integrity, reliability and safety purposes" since before Equitrans,an EQT Corp. affiliate,leased the system. Equitrans' upgrades to the TP-371 pipeline are part of the leaseagreement.

The replacement project would include installation of 20-inch-diameterpipeline, as well as pigging facilities at the upstream end of the pipeline thatwill assist in in-line inspection throughout the line.

The replacement pipeline would be installed about 10 to 15 feetfrom the existing infrastructure, which would be abandoned in place once the replacementpipeline is in service.

Equitrans is owned by subsidiaries of EQT Midstream Partners LP. (CP15-528)