EQM Midstream Partners said this week it has raised the projected cost of its Mountain Valley natural gas pipeline from West Virginia to Virginia to $4.8-$5.0 billion, Kallanish Energy reports.
EQM’s share of the project cost is roughly $2.4 billion.
The midstreamer also delayed the projected completion of the line to mid-2020 due to ongoing legal and regulatory challenges. That is up from the company’s last estimate of $4.6 billion and a target to complete the project in the fourth quarter of 2019.
EQM made the comments in a federal regulatory filing in which the company said it had submitted a land exchange proposal to the federal government, hoping for permission for the line to cross the Appalachian Trail.
“Mountain Valley Pipeline LLC (Mvp), of which EQM Midstream Partners LP (Eqm) is a 45.5% interest owner and the operator of Mvp joint venture assets, following discussion and consultation with the U.S. Department of the Interior, has submitted a land exchange proposal to the federal government,” the Securities and Exchange Commission filing dated June 17, (reviewed by Kallanish Energy) states.
The proposal would grant the federal government full ownership of private lands crossed, and would benefit the Appalachian National Scenic Trail, including certain private land located adjacent to the Jefferson National Forest, according to the filing.
In exchange, the applicable federal agencies would grant the Mvp an easement and right-of-way to cross the trail using the project’s previously planned underground crossing method approved by the Federal Energy Regualtory Commission in 2017.
Crossing the trail became an issue after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in December said the U.S. Forest Service lacked authority to issue a permit for another gas line, Dominion Energy’s $7.0-7.5 billion Atlantic Coast Pipeline, to cross the Appalachian Trail on federal land. That case is on appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.
When EQM started construction in February 2018, it estimated Mvp would cost roughly $3.5 billion and be completed by the end of 2018. The 303-mile line is designed to deliver 2 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) of gas.
Mvp is owned by units of EQM, NextEra Energy, Consolidated Edison, AltaGas, and RGC Resources.
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