Turbine-Powered Compressors For El Paso Expansion Project

Map courtesy of Kinder Morgan.

El Paso Natural Gas Co. (EPNG), a Kinder Morgan company, has applied to the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) seeking authorization to construct, own, and operate the South Mainline Expansion Project. EPNG is proposing two new compressor stations and a 17-mi. (27-km) loop line of EPNG’s South Mainline system in El Paso County and Hudspeth County, Texas, USA; Luna County, New Mexico, USA; and Cochise County, Arizona, USA.

According to EPNG, the project is needed to meet demand for increased westbound capacity on EPNG’s south mainline. EPNG has experienced significant demand for increased westbound capacity on EPNG’s South Mainline system to serve markets in Arizona and California. The demand for westbound transportation capacity and the associated contracting for increased capacity are supporting EPNG’s South Mainline Expansion Project.

The two shippers anchoring the proposed expansion are the Comisión Federal de Electricidad (CFE) and Salt River Project Agricultural Improvement and Power District (SRP). After Mexico’s comprehensive energy reforms were announced in 2014, EPNG and CFE engaged in discussions regarding CFE’s then-existing transportation contract portfolio and projected transportation needs. Based on those discussions, CFE determined that it needed to modify its transportation contract portfolio to provide for initial deliveries in West Texas followed by a change to deliveries in Arizona and California. This change would accommodate the development and growth of both electrical generation and natural gas pipeline infrastructure in Mexico.

Based on CFE’s request, EPNG designed a project which utilized existing unsubscribed capacity on its system paired with new expansion capacity to increase deliverability across EPNG’s South Mainline system. In June 2016, EPNG conducted an open season for the project. As described in the open season, those facilities included looping EPNG’s Line Nos. 1100 and 1103 between Hueco and El Paso, Texas, as well as installing incremental compression near EPNG’s former Deming compressor station and the existing Willcox compressor station that would be available for service by July 1, 2020.

The proposed facilities create sufficient capacity to support both the 271,000 dekatherms per day of CFE contracted quantities and the 50,000 dekatherms per day of SRP contract quantities and also create a small amount of capacity that currently remains unsubscribed.

Red Mountain Compressor Station

EPNG proposes to construct the new Red Mountain Compressor Station in Luna County, New Mexico. The new compressor station will consist of one Mars 90 Solar turbine that will be rate at 13,220 hp (9862 kW) The Red Mountain Compressor Station will be constructed entirely within EPNG’s former Deming Compressor Station site that was abandoned in 2011.

Dragoon Compressor Station

EPNG proposes to construct the new Dragoon Compressor Station in Cochise County, Arizona. The new Dragoon Compressor Station will consist of one Mars 90 Solar turbine rated at 13,220 hp. EPNG proposes to co-locate the new Dragoon Compressor Station within the property boundaries of EPNG’s existing Willcox Compressor Station. Though the proposed Dragoon Compressor Station will be located on the same land parcel as EPNG’s existing Willcox Compressor Station, the Dragoon Compressor Station will be configured and dedicated for mainline service on EPNG’s South Mainline system, whereas the existing Willcox Compressor Station will continue to provide service on EPNG’s Willcox Lateral Line.

17-Mile Loop Line

EPNG proposes to construct a 17-mile Line No. 1110 that will loop EPNG’s existing Line No. 1100 from a point downstream of EPNG’s Hueco Compressor Station in Hudspeth County, Texas, west to approximately milepost 19.5 of EPNG’s Line No. 1100 in El Paso County, Texas. EPNG’s Line Nos. 1100 and 1103 are part of the South Mainline system that extends in an east to west direction. The proposed 17-mile loop line will be located adjacent to and co-located with EPNG’s Line Nos. 1100 and 1103 centered on the edge of EPNG’s existing right-of-way for its Line No. 1100.