Buffalo-based National Fuel Gas Supply Corporation and Empire Pipeline, Inc., both wholly-owned subsidiaries of National Fuel Gas Company, have received notice that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has approved their application to construct the Northern Access Project.
The project, an expansion of the interstate natural gas pipeline infrastructure systems of National Fuel Gas Supply Corporation and Empire Pipeline, will transport domestically-produced natural gas and provide a reliable, low-cost source of energy for residential and commercial customers throughout the North American pipeline system.
The Northern Access Project consists of approximately 97 miles of new pipeline to be constructed within McKean County, Pa., and the counties of Allegheny, Cattaraugus, Erie, N.Y., and approximately two miles of new pipeline to be constructed in Niagara County, N.Y. The project also includes the addition of compression facilities at an existing compressor station in Erie County and construction of a new compressor station and a new dehydration facility, both in Niagara County. The pipeline will be integrated with the existing National Fuel pipeline network, providing for increased reliability to the Western New York natural gas markets.
Once completed, the Northern Access Project will provide in total 490,000 Dth/day of incremental firm transportation capacity. 140,000 Dth/day will be delivered to the Tennessee Gas Pipeline 200 Line, serving New York state and New England markets, and the remaining 350,000 Dth/day of incremental firm transportation capacity will be delivered to Empire’s pipeline system, providing access to New York state, Canadian, Northeast and Midwest U.S. markets.
“We continue to make progress working through the various federal, state and local regulatory processes, and this authorization keeps us on track for our recently announced in-service date during the second quarter of our 2018 fiscal year. National Fuel will invest nearly a half billion dollars to construct the facilities necessary to transport this critical source of natural gas to the Northeast U.S. and eastern Canadian markets,” said Ronald Kraemer, senior vice president at Supply and president at Empire. “As the northeast becomes increasingly more reliant on this nearby supply source, and in order to meet the growing demand from residential and commercial customers as well as from electric utilities that are replacing their coal-fired electric plants with natural gas-fired generation, the infrastructure required to provide these supplies must be built.”
During the more than 31 months of the FERC review process for the Northern Access Project, community input relative to the pipeline route, noise, emissions, property values, lighting, security and environmental impacts were taken into consideration and incorporated into the design of the project’s facilities. Examples include pipeline route modifications based on landowner requests where possible and feasible, relocation of the proposed compressor station in Pendleton, N.Y., to an industrially-zoned area, relocation of the proposed dehydration facility to an existing industrial park, use of state-of-the-art sound and emissions reduction technologies at above ground facility sites, and the incorporation of an agricultural exterior design for the proposed Pendleton Compressor Station to enhance the aesthetics for the facility.
National Fuel also reviewed and responded to hundreds of questions and comments submitted by residents and community groups throughout the lengthy FERC review process, all of which are well-documented and posted on the FERC eLibrary website, https://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/elibrary.asp, and on the Northern Access Project website, http://www.natfuel.com/Supply/NorthernAccess2016/default.aspx.