Enable Gas Transmission, LLC (EGT) proposed the Central Arkansas Pipeline Enhancement (CAPE) Project to provide for the continued safe, reliable and efficient transportation of natural gas to the central Arkansas cities and towns of Conway, Mayflower, Maumelle, North Little Rock and Little Rock.
EGT identified an opportunity to enhance its pipeline system in Central Arkansas and initiated a collaborative effort with the local gas distribution company, CenterPoint Energy Arkansas Gas (CERC). EGT and CERC currently own and operate multiple, existing pipelines in this region, but the region has experienced substantial residential and commercial development since the original pipeline facilities were constructed.
The pipeline enhancement project provides EGT and CERC with the opportunity to install new facilities to better serve its current customers, while also laying the groundwork for additional capacity to meet future growth, as needed. As part of the Project, EGT will retire from service some exiting pipeline assets, while also realigning ownership of some other existing pipeline infrastructure to CERC. Such realignment and repurposing of existing pipeline infrastructure will provide for cost savings and more efficient delivery of natural gas in the Project area, all of which should benefit end use customers.
Following receipt of applicable federal, state, and local permits and approvals, including Federal Energy Regulatory Commission authorization, EGT completed construction of the newly proposed CAPE Project facilities (i.e., Lines BT-39, BT-40, BT-41, and related appurtenances) between October 2014 and April 2015. Although the new Project pipeline facilities were completed and remain ready for service, EGT has been unable to commence the Project pipeline retirement activities, as described further below.
Due to unanticipated delays, CERC has not yet completed construction of the distribution pipeline infrastructure necessary to receive natural gas from the new pipeline facilities constructed in association with the Project. Once CERC completes the construction activities necessary to receive gas from Lines BT-39, BT-40, and BT-41, ownership and operation of the replaced segment of Line BT-14 through the City of Conway will be transferred to CERC. Additionally, EGT will continue to provide service along the segments of Line B, BM-1, and BM-21 that are to be retired until CERC completes activities necessary to fully transition its gas receipts to the Line BT-39 pipeline. At that time, the pipelines will be taken out of service, and the Project pipeline retirement activities will commence. EGT currently estimates that these pipeline retirement activities will not commence until the second quarter of 2017. Further, due to a phased transition of natural gas receipts to the Line BT-39 pipeline, EGT’s pipeline retirement activities may not be substantively completed until the fourth quarter of 2018.