East Tennessee plans pipeline for Eastman coal-to-gas conversion

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Nov. 15 laid out the environmental review process of an Aug. 14 application from East Tennessee Natural Gas LLC related to a pipeline to support a coal-to-gas conversion project in Tennessee.

East Tennessee applied for a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity to construct, operate, and eventually abandon certain natural gas pipeline facilities. The proposed project is known as the Kingsport Expansion Project, and it would provide about 61,000 dekatherms per day of natural gas to Eastman Chemical Co. in Kingsport, Tenn. According to East Tennessee, Eastman plans to convert multiple coal-fired boilers at its existing chemical plant to natural gas service.

FERC said it plans to issue an environmental assessment on this application on Nov. 29, with a decision deadline of Feb. 27, 2014.

East Tennessee plans to construct and operate about 9.8 miles of new 16-inch-diameter pipeline; replace about 5.8 miles of 8-inch-diameter pipeline with 24-inch-diameter pipe; and make modifications at the existing Glade Spring and Fordtown Compressor Stations. Construction would take place in Sullivan County, Tenn., and Washington and Smyth counties, Va.

East Tennessee requested approval of the project on or before April 1, 2014, to ensure that it is able to begin providing transportation service to the Eastman Plant by Jan. 1, 2015, to meet the new natural gas service needs of the Eastman Plant.

Eastman is facing pressure under the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s regional haze program to reduce emissions from its on-site steam plant in Tennessee.

Eastman’s June 2013 sustainability report said that over the next few years, it will be converting five boilers at the Kingsport site from coal to natural gas which will help achieve significant reductions in greenhouse gas, SO2 and NOx emissions. At full operation, the Kingsport chemical facility uses 160 MW and has 196 MW of generating capacity.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.