El Paso, Enron to build Georgia-Florida pipeline


El Paso Energy Corp. and Enron Corp. said they will jointly construct a large-diameter pipeline to transport gas from Savannah, Georgia, to a connection with a Florida Gas Transmission Co. line in Jacksonville, Fla. Joint company Cypress Natural Gas Co. plans to hold an open season for pipeline capacity May 1-June 30. It will apply to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in January 2001 to build and operate the pipeline. If all goes well, construction should begin in the third quarter 20


El Paso Energy Corp. and Enron Corp. said they will jointly construct a large-diameter pipeline to transport gas from Savannah, Georgia, to a connection with a Florida Gas Transmission Co. line in Jacksonville, Fla. Joint company Cypress Natural Gas Co. plans to hold an open season for pipeline capacity May 1-June 30. It will apply to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in January 2001 to build and operate the pipeline. If all goes well, construction should begin in the third quarter 2002, and the pipeline should be in service in April 2003.

Southern LNG Company, an affiliate of El Paso Energy, was recently authorized by FERC to reactivate its liquefied natural gas terminal near Savannah. The regasified LNG will be the primary supply source for the new pipeline with additional gas supplied by Southern Natural Gas Company, a business unit of El Paso Energy, and Florida Gas.

Florida Gas Transmission is owned by a jointly owned subsidiary of Enron and El Paso Energy. Florida Gas Transmission also plans to develop and market an expansion of its system south of Jacksonville in order to serve new power generation loads currently being developed in central and southern Florida.

"We believe this pipeline project will greatly enhance our ability to serve natural gas and power generation markets in Georgia and Florida," said John W. Somerhalder, president of El Paso Energy's pipeline group. "We are pleased to be working with Enron on such an important project."

Florida Gas also announced plans to hold an open season from May 1 to June 30 to solicit bids for an expansion of Florida Gas' 4,700-mile pipeline system. Plans for the expansion will be finalized after the open season responses are evaluated.

"We believe the Cypress project, coupled with an expansion of Florida Gas' pipeline, is a very cost effective and environmentally sound option for meeting the additional demand for natural gas in the state," said Rock Meyer, president of Florida Gas Transmission. "We also believe these projects will enable us to diversify the gas supply sources we can make available to our customers in Florida."

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