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Florida Gas renews demand for certificate for Gulf Coast expansion

For a second time, Florida Gas Transmission Co. LLC asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to immediately approve its East-West natural gas expansion project that would provide customers in Texas with an incremental 275 MMcf/d.

"It is vital that we receive the certificate as soon as possible to be in a position to serve a customer's urgent need for service," Florida Gas said in its Feb. 12 letter to the commission. In December, the developer asked FERC to approve the expansion project by the end of the year to meet shipper requirements.

The plant's current supplier, Shell Energy North America (US) LP, will perform pipeline integrity testing in the summer, which will require the pipelines to be removed from service. The East-West project would provide continued service for the Motiva plant, the largest gasoline refinery in the U.S., when other pipelines to the refinery are removed from service. Florida Gas, a Citrus Corp. subsidiary, said construction on the pipeline expansion would take about three months and without a certificate order soon, service to the plant could be interrupted. The company originally planned to put the expansion project in service in April.

Jera Energy America LLC, another East-West project shipper, has contracted for LNG production capacity at the Freeport LNG Development LP export project on the Texas Coast.

The East-West project would consist of about 25 miles of lateral connection pipeline, four new meter stations and modifications to system piping at a compressor station that would allow bidirectional flow on the Florida Gas mainline. Florida Gas applied for the $68.9 million project Oct. 31, 2016, and FERC staff issued a positive environmental assessment for the project Oct. 20, 2017. (FERC docket CP17-8)