FERC approves Duke Energy's Patriot project

By OGJ editors

HOUSTON, Nov. 22 -- The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Wednesday authorized Duke Energy Gas Transmission to construct and operate the company's Patriot natural gas pipeline project.

The approval gives the company's East Tennessee Natural Gas (ETNG) subsidiary the authorization to construct, own, operate, and maintain pipeline and related facilities along its existing ETNG system in Tennessee and Virginia and extend the system into southwest Virginia and northern North Carolina, where it will supply natural gas to new electric power plants.

A study completed earlier this year by energy consulting firm Merrimack Energy, Salem, NH, reported that the power market is driving increasing regional gas demand in the area. Peak electric power demand in the Virginia-Carolinas area is projected to grow 2.3%/year through 2010, the study reported (OGJ Online, Feb. 25, 2002).

The Patriot extension will consist of about 94 miles of 24-in. pipeline from Virginia to North Carolina. It will deliver natural gas for the first time to parts of southwestern Virginia and introduce a competitive supply of gas to North Carolina from Appalachian and Gulf Coast producers (OGJ, Feb. 4, 2002, p. 69).

The line would originate from Duke's East Tennessee system in Wythe County, Va., cross Carroll, Patrick, and Henry counties in Virginia, and terminate in Rockingham County, NC. About 7 miles of lateral line would run from Rockingham County to Henry County, Va.

Duke Energy Gas Transmission is the Houston-based division of Duke Energy Corp., Charlotte, NC.

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