TransCanada Asks FERC to Expand Capacity on New England Pipe

TransCanada is attempting to do what so far, no one else has been able to accomplish: Increase flows of Marcellus/Utica (and perhaps other basin) gas into New England. The way they’re doing it is via the Portland Natural Gas Transmission System (PNGTS), a 295-mile pipeline that spans New England from the Canadian border to pipeline connections in New Hampshire, Maine and Massachusetts. No, TransCanada is not proposing to build any new pipeline as part of their plan. In fact there is no construction of any kind for phases I and II in what TransCanada is calling its Portland XPress Project (PXP). Phase I, which TransCanada filed on April 20, asked FERC for permission to begin flowing an extra 39.8 million cubic feet (MMcf) of natural gas from Pittsburg, NH, to Westbrook, ME, and to increase the flow from and to Canada. In Phase II, which was filed yesterday, TransCanada asked FERC for permission to flow an extra 11.3 MMcf from Westbrook, ME, to Dracut, MA. When the filing for Phase III comes along, they will ask to build a new compressor station, among other bits and bobs. New England and Atlantic Canada desperately need the gas, so there’s no reason why FERC would deny these reasonable requests. Perhaps TransCanada can succeed where Kinder Morgan’s TGP Northeast Energy Direct and Spectra Energy’s Access Northeast projects failed, and boldly go where no pipeline has gone before…

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