El Paso moves ahead with Elba Express north-south gas line expansion

The Elba Express Co. LLC (EEC) and Southern Natural Gas Co. LLC (SNG), both units of Kinder Morgan’s El Paso Pipeline Partners LP, completed successful open seasons for almost 600 MMcfd of incremental, long-term gas transportation supplying the southeast US and the Elba Liquefaction export project. The open seasons also attracted interest in further expanding capacity by as much as 400 MMcfd, bringing the total expansion to as much as 1 bcfd.

Shell US Gas & Power LLC and Southern Liquefaction Co. LLC, a Kinder Morgan company and also unit of El Paso Pipeline Partners, announced plans earlier this year to form a limited liability company to develop an LNG export plant in two phases at Southern LNG Co. LLC’s existing Elba Island LNG terminal near Savannah, Ga. The project will have a total liquefaction capacity of about 2.5 million tonnes/year (OGJ Online, Jan. 28, 2013). In June 2012, the Elba Island terminal received approval from the US Department of Energy to export as much as 4 million tpy of LNG to Free Trade Agreement countries.

EEC expects the north-to-south expansion of its system, including interconnects and delivery points with SNG and other pipelines and shippers, to become available in phases, with 600-MMcfd Phase 1 service beginning as early as June 2016 and all phases in service by April 2019.

The EEC open season ended Aug. 7. The SNG open season, which supported deliveries and capacity held on the Elba Express Pipeline, ended July 31. The companies expect the Phase 1 expansion to cost $200 million. Expansion is pending regulatory approvals.

Contact Christopher E. Smith @chriss@ogjonline.com.

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