Empire Connector gas pipeline project advances

National Fuel subsidiary Empire State Pipeline has selected Otis Eastern Service to construct its $177 million Empire Connector gas pipeline expansion project from Victor to Corning, NY.

By OGJ editors
HOUSTON, Aug. 9 -- National Fuel Gas Co. subsidiary Empire State Pipeline Co. has selected Otis Eastern Service Inc., Wellsville, NY, to construct its $177 million Empire Connector gas pipeline expansion project from Victor to Corning, NY.

First-phase construction on the 77-mile line is scheduled to begin in mid-September in Yates and Schuyler counties. The company, which plans to lay 20-25 miles of pipe by early December, said the entire project is on schedule to be completed and in service in September 2008.

The remaining pipeline will be completed in 2008 along with a compressor station to be built along the existing pipeline in Oakfield, NY, increasing the pipeline's gas delivery capability along the expanded route.

The pipe and the compressor equipment, being manufactured in Baton Rouge, La., and San Diego, Calif., respectively, represent more than $30 million of the project cost, NFGC said.

The Empire Connector will add to the existing 157-mile Empire State pipeline from a point near Buffalo to Syracuse, linking it to the Millennium Pipeline project.

Once completed, the Empire Connector and the Millennium Pipeline projects, along with the Algonquin Gas Transmission LLC and Iroquois Gas Transmission System LP expansion projects, will provide about 515 MMcfd of new gas supply to the Northeast, serving customers in central and western New York.

Earlier this summer, a subsidiary of Northeastern gas distributor KeySpan Energy executed a 10-year, firm transportation service agreement with Empire for more than 60% of the pipeline's capacity. The agreement commits KeySpan for about 148 MMcfd of gas transportation service on the Empire State pipeline, including the Empire Connector facilities.

Empire is marketing the remaining capacity to be created by the Empire Connector.

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