July 8, 2002 — A Dominion and Piedmont Natural Gas partnership has applied to build a $497m natural gas pipeline that will create critical new links between the Mid-Atlantic/Southeast regions and major gas supplies in Canada, Appalachia and Mid-Continent regions. New links would also be created with the Gulf of Mexico and Gulf coast regions.
As outlined in an application filed with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), the 280-mile Greenbrier Pipeline would originate in Kanawha County, W.Va., and extend southeast to Granville County, N.C. The planned route has been mapped by the partnership during nearly two years of meetings with local governments, landowners, customers and other stakeholders.
The pipeline is expected to enter service in mid-2005 with capacity to move more than 580 million cubic feet of natural gas per day. The partners, operating as Greenbrier Pipeline Company, LLC, said the pipeline will generate substantial new economic growth opportunities. It will open new expansion opportunities for local distribution companies, new power supply projects, energy marketing companies, and industrial customers seeking a broader range of competitive gas suppliers.
In fact, Greenbrier Pipeline already has long-term, firm transportation contracts for the project’s initial capacity, including agreements with two new gas-fired power stations and North Carolina’s two largest local distribution companies. A portion of the pipeline’s capacity will be held by Greenbrier Marketing Company, LLC, a recently formed affiliate with the sole purpose of marketing any remaining uncommitted volumes.
Dominion owns 67 percent of the pipeline partnership, Piedmont Natural Gas 33 percent. The pipeline will be designed, constructed and operated by Dominion Transmission Inc. Through its connection to Dominion Transmission, Greenbrier Pipeline will also create connections to the Tennessee and Columbia interstate pipelines.
“The Greenbrier Pipeline will put in place critical new energy infrastructure,” said Ware F. Schiefer, Piedmont’s chief executive officer. “It will promote long-term economic growth in the Southeast by increasing supply and supply options for gas using customers of all variety. In some cases, we’ll even be able to reach areas where natural gas is not now available.”
Thos. E. Capps, Dominion’s chairman, president and chief executive officer, said: “Natural gas is the fuel of the future and the efficient production and delivery of this vital resource will be important to our nation’s well being over the coming decade. That’s why a large number of good people have worked extraordinarily hard to get the details of this project in place before we actually seek our certificate to build.”
Capps said that FERC filing procedures have helped the partnership create a pathway that is feasible and realistic.
“Through the FERC’s innovative pre-filing process, we have worked closely with all those affected by the pipeline’s route,” he said. “We have made many good adjustments in advance of the formal application filing. This will reduce areas of potential concern – including environmental, cultural and residential interests of local communities along the pipeline right-of-way. We believe the filed route minimizes the landowner and environmental impacts of the pipeline. However, we will continue to work with landowners and other affected parties.”
The certificate application includes the proposed route through West Virginia, Virginia and North Carolina, and two new compressor stations – the Elk River Station in Kanawha County, West Virginia, and the Eden Station in Rockingham County, North Carolina. Detailed route maps can be viewed on Dominion’s Web site (www.dom.com, keyword Greenbrier).
Greenbrier voluntarily conducted 18 informational meetings at various locations along the proposed route and considered comments and suggestions from local residents, landowners, businesses, environmental groups, economic development groups and government officials before submitting its route. About a third of the route follows existing right-of-ways.
The selection of the Greenbrier pipeline route is based on a number of factors, including land use, location of populated areas, surface topography, geological considerations, and environmental factors. Greenbrier has conducted biological, archaeological and engineering surveys of its entire route.
The FERC’s environmental staff also has been reviewing the Greenbrier project since November 2001 through the pre-filing process – by conducting site visits, attending public and agency meetings, and meeting with landowner groups.
Dominion is one of the nation’s largest producers of energy, with a production capability of more than 3 trillion British thermal unit of energy per day. Dominion has a diversified and integrated energy portfolio consisting of nearly 24,000 megawatts of generation, 5.1 trillion cubic feet equivalent of proved natural gas reserves, 7,600 miles of natural gas transmission pipeline and the nation’s largest underground natural gas storage system with more than 950 billion cubic feet of storage capacity. Dominion also serves 3.9 million franchise natural gas and electric customers in five states. For more information about Dominion, visit the company’s web site at www.dom.com.
Piedmont Natural Gas is an energy and services company primarily engaged in the distribution of natural gas to 710,000 residential, commercial and industrial customers in North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee. The Charlotte-based company is the second-largest natural gas utility in the Southeast. Piedmont is also invested in a number of non-utility, energy-related businesses including companies involved in unregulated retail natural gas and propane marketing, and interstate and intrastate natural gas storage and transportation. More information about Piedmont Natural Gas is available on the Internet at www.piedmontng.com.