Equitrans Midstream Corp. is now targeting a full in-service date of second-half 2023 for its 303-mile, 2-bcfd Mountain Valley natural gas pipeline (MVP), at a total project cost of about $6.6 billion. Through Mar. 31, 2022, Equitrans had funded about $2.6 billion of the project, which was originally expected to cost $3.5 billion and be completed in 2018.
The most recent delays in construction and cost overruns are related to first-quarter 2022 decisions by the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit vacating and remanding, on specific issues, MVP's permit related to crossing the Jefferson National Forest by the US Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management and the biological opinion and incidental take statement issued by the US Fish and Wildlife Service. After evaluating legal options and consulting with the relevant federal agencies, MVP plans to pursue new permits from the agencies.
In April, the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approved MVP’s certificate amendment, primarily related to changing the method of crossing certain waterbodies and wetlands to trenchless construction from open-cut (OGJ Online, Apr. 11, 2022).
The MVP JV continues to evaluate the 75-mile, 900-MMcfd MVP Southgate extension, including discussions with the shipper regarding options for the project, the timing and design of which has been affected by changes to the main pipeline’s schedule. As originally designed, MVP Southgate was estimated to cost $450-500 million, backed by a 300-MMcfd firm capacity commitment from Dominion Energy North Carolina.