TransCanada Corp. announced Jan. 2, that its Leach XPress (LXP) project was placed in-service on Jan. 1, 2018, and that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has issued a certificate of public convenience and necessity for its Mountaineer XPress (MXP) and Gulf XPress (GXP) projects on December 29, 2017.
All three projects provide vital links between Appalachian natural gas supply and growing U.S. markets.
LXP comprises 160 miles of 36-in. diameter pipeline, three compressor stations and modifications to an existing compressor station. Representing an investment of approximately $1.6 billion, the pipeline is capable of transporting approximately 1.5 billion cubic feet of natural gas a day (Bcf/d). Via an existing interconnect with TransCanada’s Columbia Gulf Transmission System and its Rayne XPress (RXP) project which was placed into service last November, LXP will facilitate the delivery of up to an additional 1 Bcf/d to Southeast and Gulf Coast supply markets.
“Successful completion of Leach XPress is a prime example of TransCanada’s North American strategy of connecting prolific and growing supply basins with markets eager to access reliable, reasonably priced sources of energy,” said Russ Girling, TransCanada president and CEO. “This is truly a best-in-class pipeline and we look forward to many years of safe, reliable, and efficient operation on behalf of our customers.”
At peak construction, LXP employed nearly 5,000 employees and contractors.
FERC’s thorough review and approval of MXP and GXP follows three years of planning by TransCanada’s project teams, along with over two years of outreach to communities and landowners along the projects’ routes. Once remaining regulatory approvals are obtained, TransCanada plans to begin right-of-way preparation and construction activities on both projects, with an anticipated in-service date in late 2018.
“FERC’s approval of Mountaineer XPress and Gulf XPress allows us to continue delivering on our commitment to create new outlets for our customers, transporting Marcellus and Utica shale gas to key markets in the U.S. and beyond,” said Stanley Chapman III, TransCanada’s executive vice president and president, U.S. Natural Gas Pipelines. “Our project teams are prepared to begin construction on both projects.”
The MXP and GXP projects consist of combined infrastructure investment of $3.2 billion. MXP will deliver approximately 2.6 Bcf/d of gas to the TCO Pool and Leach markets on the Columbia Gas Transmission System through the construction of 170-miles of 36-in. pipeline, three new compressor stations and upgrades to three existing compressor stations.
GXP will transport approximately 0.8 Bcf/d to Southeast and Gulf Coast supply markets through the construction of seven new compressor stations, and upgrades to one existing compressor station, along TransCanada’s existing Columbia Gulf System.
MXP and GXP are expected to create over 8,000 jobs during peak construction later this year. Both are underpinned by long-term, fixed-fee, firm transportation service agreements. They will be designed, constructed and operated with a core focus on safety and minimizing environmental impact.
TransCanada now has FERC Certificate Orders for all major Appalachian growth projects associated with the 2016 acquisition of Columbia Pipeline Group. Together, they represent a significant part of TransCanada’s portfolio of complementary infrastructure assets and $24 billion (CAD) of near-term growth projects that is expected to underpin growth in the company’s common dividend at the upper end of an eight to 10 percent range annually through 2020 and an additional eight to 10 percent in 2021.