TransCanada Corp. and Northwest Natural Gas Co. (NW Natural) have formed a joint venture, Palomar Gas Transmission LLC, to build an operate an interstate natural gas pipeline to serve customers in northwestern Oregon and southwestern Washington State. On Dec. 11, 2008, TransCanada and NW Natural filed an application with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to obtain a certificate that would allow the joint venture to proceed with the project.
The proposed 36-inch-diameter Palomar pipeline would extend 217 miles from TransCanada's Gas Transmission Northwest (GTN) pipeline in central Oregon through seven counties to a point on the Columbia River northwest of Portland. Under the current proposal, the pipeline could transport up to 1.3 billion cubic feet a day (Bcf/d) of natural gas. Also, Palomar would give NW Natural additional access to the interstate pipeline grid via an interconnect near the town of Molalla southeast of Portland. Finally, Palomar would link Oregon to a new source of natural gas supply by connecting to facilities of the proposed Bradwood Landing Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) terminal in Clatsop County.
Palomar anticipates the project to create approximately 275 temporary jobs in 2010 and more than 1,800 construction jobs in 2011. Should FERC approve the certificate application by the end of 2009, Palomar could begin construction in 2010. Under that scenario, the gas pipeline could go into service in November 2011.