Palomar Gas Transmission LLC, a joint venture of TransCanada Corp. and Northwest Natural Gas Company (NW Natural) on Thursday filed an application with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for a certificate to build and operate an interstate natural gas transmission pipeline in Oregon.
If the certificate application is approved by FERC by the end of 2009, Palomar could begin construction in 2010 with a target in-service date of November 2011. Palomar would be only the second interstate gas transmission pipeline to serve customers in Oregon's Willamette Valley and southwest Washington State.
"This project would greatly enhance service reliability to NW Natural's 655,000 residential, commercial, and industrial customers," said Keith White, vice president and chief strategic officer for NW Natural. "The prospect of tapping additional sources of natural gas through Palomar would help mitigate the impact of future price volatility on NW Natural's customers."
The proposed Palomar Gas Transmission is a 217-mile, 36-inch-diameter pipeline extending from the Gas Transmission Northwest (GTN) pipeline, a TransCanada-owned pipeline in central Oregon, to a point on the Columbia River northwest of Portland. The pipeline as proposed would be capable of transporting up to 1.3 billion cubic feet a day (Bcf/d) of natural gas.
The seven Oregon counties the proposed pipeline would traverse would realize an aggregate increase in property taxes of several million dollars annually. The proposed project would create an estimated 275 temporary jobs in 2010 and more than 1,800 construction jobs during 2011.
Palomar would provide NW Natural with additional access to the interstate pipeline grid via an interconnect near the town of Molalla southeast of Portland. As proposed, Palomar would also connect with facilities of the proposed Bradwood Landing Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) terminal in Clatsop County. Access to LNG would provide Oregon with a completely new source of natural gas supply.
The application is available from FERC via its website, www.ferc.gov. Paper copies of the application will be available in public libraries along the proposed pipeline route. A list of those libraries is available on the Palomar website, www.palomargas.com.