FERC readies enviro review on Rockies Express expansion project in Ohio and Illinois

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission issued an April 13 notice about a March 30 application from Rockies Express Pipeline LLC (REX) to construct, install, own, operate and maintain certain additional mainline compression and ancillary facilities that upon completion will comprise REX’s proposed REX Zone 3 Capacity Enhancement Project.

Specifically, the REX Zone 3 Capacity Enhancement Project facilities, upon construction, will increase the Zone 3 east-to-west capacity by 800,000 Dekatherms per day (Dth/d) from receipts at Clarington, Ohio, to corresponding deliveries of 520,000 Dth/d and 280,000 Dth/d to Lebanon, Ohio,and Moultrie County, Illinois, respectively.

Within 90 days of this notice the commission staff will either: complete its environmental assessment (EA) and place it into the commission’s public record for this proceeding; or issue a Notice of Schedule for Environmental Review. If that notice is issued, it will indicate, among other milestones, the anticipated date for the commission staff’s issuance of the final environmental impact statement (FEIS) or EA for this proposal.

The Rockies Express proposal includes: the construction of three new mainline compressor stations located in Pickaway and Fayette counties, Ohio, and Decatur County, Indiana; the installation of additional compressor units at one existing compressor station located in Muskingum County, Ohio; and the construction of ancillary facilities.

Rockies Express is owned by three members: 50% by Rockies Express Holdings LLC, an indirect wholly-owned subsidiary of Tallgrass Development LP; 25% by P&S Project I LLC, a subsidiary of Sempra Energy; and 25% by COPREX LLC, a subsidiary of Phillips 66.

Recently, the commission approved certain system modifications necessary to enable Rockies Express to provide an additional 1,200,000 Dth/d of firm transportation service from east-to-west within Zone 3, while continuing to satisfy existing firm wes-tto-east transportation commitments (called the “Zone 3 East-to-West Project”).

“When complete, the Zone 3 East-to-West Project will transform Zone 3 of Rockies Express into a fully bidirectional system capable of effectuating forward haul deliveries in an eastward and westward direction within Zone 3,” said the application. “Rockies Express anticipates that the Zone 3 East-to-West Project will be complete within the second quarter of 2015.”

Said the application about this latest project: “The U.S. has experienced substantial growth in gas production in the Appalachian Basin, including from the Marcellus and Utica shale formations in Ohio, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania. As a consequence, natural gas market participants are seeking an economical and near-term transportation solution to move these new supplies to Midwestern markets, which include retail consumers, commercial users, and new gasfired power generation that is anticipated to replace certain coal plants. Based on the location of its mainline and existing Midwest delivery points, Rockies Express is uniquely positioned to provide Midwest gas consuming markets greater access to the burgeoning Appalachian production while continuing to provide an outlet for Rocky Mountain production.”

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.