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Eastern Shore Natural Gas pipeline projects secure FERC approval

FERC approved EasternShore Natural Gas Co.'s WhiteOak Mainline expansion project, which will increase natural gastransportation capacity to a power plant in Delaware, and a .

Two July 21 FERC orders grantedauthorizations for the two projects.The orders were issued as part of the commission's monthly meeting.

The projects are close to each other, and the systemreliability project depends on the completion of the White Oak expansion.The commission determined that approving the projects would not significantlyaffect the environment. The projects received positiveenvironmental assessments in April 2016.

The White Oak expansion project will allow EasternShore, a Chesapeake UtilitiesCorp. gas pipeline subsidiary, to deliver 45,000 Dth/d of off-peakfirm transportation service on its mainline to the White Oak lateral fordelivery to the Garrison Energy Center. The 309-MW energy center in Delaware isrun by Calpine Corp.'sCalpine Eastern Corp.Calpine contracted the additional capacity for a 20-year term.

The expansion project will include two new16-inch-diameter pipeline loop segments in Chester County, Pa. The project willalso include the addition of two new 1,775-horsepower gas-fired reciprocatingcompressor units at the Delaware City compressor station in New Castle County,Del. The project will use part of Eastern Shore's existing right of way forconstruction activities. The project is expected tocost approximately $35.2 million.

As part of its approval, the commission made certainstipulations to maintain the quality of the environment and to remain updatedon the project's progress. Another requirement said the expansion project mustbe ready for service by July 21, 2018.(CP15-18)

The system reliability project will involve workin all three of Delaware's counties. It will include construction of 2.5 milesof 16-inch-diameter pipeline loop in New Castle County, construction of 7.6miles of 16-inch-diameter pipeline loop in Kent County, and the addition of1,775 horsepower of compression at Eastern Shore's Bridgeville compressorstation in Sussex County. The project will resolveproblems with delivery pressures into the Eastern Shore system, which werehighlighted by extreme weather conditions in the winters of 2014 and 2015, andinadequate compression on the system. The project isexpected to cost approximately $32.1 million.

"The commission finds that the proposed systemreliability project will provide system-wide benefits for all shippers onEastern Shore's integrated pipeline system," the order said.

FERC said the project's facilities should be available forservice by July 21, 2018, with the White Oak expansion.(CP15-498)