Southeastern Trail Expansion Project Gets Green Light From FERC

Map courtesy of Williams.

Williams has received US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) approval for its Southeastern Trail Expansion Project (Southeastern Trail). Designed to serve Transco pipeline markets in the Mid-Atlantic and Southeastern United States, the Southeastern Trail will provide 296,375 dekatherms per day of additional firm transportation capacity to utility and local distribution companies located in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia, USA.

“Southeastern Trail is a critical project that will work to bring key supplies from interconnects in the Mid-Atlantic region to growing demand centers in the Southeastern United States,” said Micheal Dunn, chief operating officer of Williams. “This vital project, along with additional expansion opportunities under development, will link low-cost supply to key customers in high-growth markets and continues the expansion of southbound capacity on the Transco pipeline system. Construction of this project along Transco’s existing corridor results in significantly less impact to the environment and landowners and more economical transportation rates for our customers than other greenfield projects serving these same markets.”

Williams anticipates beginning construction on the Southeastern Trail this fall, with a target in-service commitment of November 2020.

Southeastern Trail is Williams’ third Transco project to be approved by FERC in the last ten months. With this expansion, the Transco pipeline’s system-design capacity is expected to increase to 17.5 million dekatherms per day from its current 17.2 million dekatherms per day mark. Combined with other expansion projects under construction or in various levels of permitting, Williams expects the Transco pipeline’s system-design capacity to top 18 million dekatherms per day in time for the 2020/2021 winter heating season.

Southeastern Trail includes the construction and operation of approximately 8 mi. (13 km) of new natural gas pipeline located along Transco’s existing mainline; 60,720 hp (45,297 kW) of additional compression at three existing facilities in Virginia, USA, (Compressor Station 185, Compressor Station 175, and Compressor Station 165); reversal and/or deodorization modifications at eight existing mainline facilities in South Carolina, Georgia, and Louisiana,; and modifications at 13 existing mainline valve sites in South Carolina and Georgia.

The project also includes the retirement and abandonment of 10 recip-engine powered compressor units and related buildings and ancillary equipment at Transco’s existing Compressor Station 165 in Pittsylvania County, Virginia.

Compressor station modifications include:

Station 185, Prince William County, Virginia – Uprating of the existing electric driven compression unit driver from 25,000 hp (18,650 kW) to 30,000 hp (22,380 kW) and regearing the associated variable speed drive.

Station 175, Fluvanna County, Virginia – One 22,490 hp (16,777 kW) Solar Titan 130 turbine-driven centrifugal gas compressor will be installed and the existing EMD Unit will be uprated to operate at 41,250 hp (30,772 kW). The turbine and compressor of the new compressor unit will be installed inside a separate acoustically insulated metal compressor building. After installation of the modifications associated with the project, the total station horsepower capacity will be 63,740 hp (47,550 kW).

Station 165, Pittsylvania County, Virginia – Station modifications will consist of the addition of two new Solar Model Titan 130 turbine-driven centrifugal gas compressor units rated 20,500 hp (15,293 kW) each; addition of a new gas aftercooler that will serve the new compressor units; and removal of the ten existing recip-engine driven compressor units (#1 – #10). The new turbines and compressors of will be installed inside a new compressor building.