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April 10, 2016updated 01 Oct 2021 6:51am

Northwest Receives FERC Permit For Kalama Lateral Pipeline Project

Northwest Pipeline, LLC (Northwest) has received a permit from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to construct and operate the Kalama Lateral Pipeline.

By Pondari PremSai

The pipeline will be used to supply natural gas to a methanol plant proposed by Northwest Innovation Works. This plant will be built in the northern industrial area of the Port of Kalama, Cowlitz County, Washington.

According to the FERC, the pipeline project will not adversely affect service to Northwest’s existing customers. In addition, there will be no adverse impact on other existing pipelines in the region or their captive customers because the proposal is not intended to replace service on other pipelines.

Northwest stated that its proposals have been designed to minimize the impact on landowners, contending that construction would impact only 127.1 acres of land. Northwest has minimized the impact on landowners by developing a route that incorporated extensive landowner input.

FERC said that Northwest designed the project to minimize adverse effects on landowners and surrounding communities.

Raising several challenges to the adequacy of the Environmental Assessment, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) had said that the FERC failed to adequately address climate change impacts from the pipeline and associated effects from the methanol plant.

Having rejected the statement given by EPA, the FERC noted that the methanol plant is undergoing separate state, federal and local environmental reviews. It further noted that the pipeline’s impacts would be temporary and localized and thus not expected to contribute to regional cumulative impacts.

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On October 27, 2014, Northwest had filed an application pursuant to section 7(c) of the Natural Gas Act (NGA) and Part 157 of the Commission’s regulations for authorization to construct and operate pipeline, metering, and appurtenant facilities in Cowlitz County, Washington (Kalama Lateral Project).

Northwest proposed to construct and operate: approximately 3.1 miles of 24-inch-diameter pipeline lateral extending from Northwest’s existing 30-inch mainline near mile post (MP) 1254 to a proposed delivery meter station; a delivery meter station located at the end of the proposed lateral near MP 3.1 which will consist of two 12-inch ultrasonic meters, filter/separator, control valve, communications equipment and a building to house the equipment; and appurtenant facilities, including a 24-inch
tap and valve on Northwest’s mainline, plus block valves, and pig launching and receiving facilities.

The Kalama Lateral Project will enable Northwest to provide 320,000 dekatherms (Dth) per day of firm transportation service to NWIW’s contemplated Methanol Plant. Northwest estimates that the cost of the proposed facilities will be approximately $22,756,705.

On March 30, 2016, Northwest executed a precedent agreement with NWIW for 320,000 Dth per day of firm transportation service for a term of 25 years.

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