TransCanada received word the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued an order approving the construction of the Leach XPress and Rayne XPress projects. The combined $1.8 billion investments will provide additional outlets to transport natural gas from the Marcellus and Utica areas to the Midwest and Gulf Coast markets.
The issuing of the certificates of public convenience and necessity follows the September release of FERC’s final environmental impact statement for the projects. Once remaining regulatory approvals are obtained, TransCanada plans to begin right-of-way preparation and construction activities on both projects in February, and is reviewing the projects’ overall timeline in an effort to maintain its Nov 1 in-service date.
“Approval of Leach XPress and Rayne XPress follows a very thorough review by the FERC,” said Stan Chapman, TransCanada’s senior vice-president and general manager, U.S. Natural Gas Pipelines. “These projects will create critically needed connectivity between the prolific, but constrained, Marcellus and Utica shale production areas and higher value markets. The projects will also create significant new jobs and tax revenues for communities along the projects’ routes.”
The $1.4 billion investment in Leach XPress will enable the safe transport of 1.5 Bcf/d of natural gas from the Marcellus and Utica supply basin along the 160-mile greenfield project, which crosses the northern panhandle of West Virginia and then traverses southeastern Ohio.
Rayne XPress primarily involves the construction of two new compressor stations along TransCanada’s existing Columbia Gulf system and is designed to create an additional 1 Bcf/d of capacity to allow transport Marcellus to markets in the Gulf Coast region and beyond.
Both projects are underpinned by long-term, fixed-fee, firm transportation service agreements.