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Sabal Trail gas pipeline to start service tomorrow

13 Jun 2017 22:25 (+01:00 GMT)
Sabal Trail gas pipeline to start service tomorrow

Houston, 13 June (Argus) — Enbridge Energy said it expects to begin service tomorrow on its $3bn Sabal Trail gas pipeline, a project that will ultimately link Florida consumers to more than 1 Bcf/d (28mn cf/d) of shale gas supplies.

The US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission last week authorized the pipeline operator to startup about 482 miles (776 km) of the mainline, compressor stations in Alabama and Florida, as well as interconnects with the Transcontinental Gas pipeline in Alabama and the Gulfstream pipeline in Florida.

Those parts of the project should be fully on line by the end of June, in line with the scheduled startup.

The 515-mile Sable Trail system is a joint venture between Enbridge and electric utilities NextEra Energy and Duke Energy, and the third major interstate pipeline into Florida. Florida is already served by the 3.1 Bcf/d Florida Gas Transmission and the 1.3 Bcf/d Gulfstream Natural Gas system. Those lines will connect with Sable Trail near Orlando at the so-called central Florida hub.

Gas is quickly becoming the fuel of choice for large electric utilities in states such as Florida because of low prices, coal plant retirements and tougher emissions standards. Gas is projected to surpass coal this year for the second time as the dominant source fuel for power generation, according to the US Energy Information Administration.

Sabal Trail could ultimately reduce gas price volatility in Florida by providing more diverse supplies to a state that has little storage.