Williams operates a natural gas transmission pipeline known as the Transco pipeline, which transports natural gas from production areas to customers, such as utility companies and power plants, located throughout the eastern United States.

The Atlantic Sunrise Project is designed to supply enough natural gas to meet the daily needs of more than 7 million American homes by connecting producing regions in northeastern Pennsylvania to markets in the Mid-Atlantic and southeastern states. The expansion adds 1.7 million dekatherms per day of pipeline capacity to the Transco system.

The project includes compression and looping of the Transco Leidy Line in Pennsylvania along with a greenfield pipeline segment, referred to as the Central Penn Line, connecting the northeastern Marcellus producing region to the Transco mainline near Station 195 in southeastern Pennsylvania. Additional existing Transco facilities are being added or modified to allow gas to flow bi-directionally.

The project design includes a total of approximately 183 miles of new greenfield pipe (Central Penn North & Central Penn South), two pipeline loops totaling about 12 miles (Chapman Loop, Unity Loop), two and half miles of existing pipeline replacement, two new compressor facilities in Pennsylvania, and other facility additions or modifications in five states (Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina).

Construction began in spring 2016 on the mainline portion of the Atlantic Sunrise project designed to accommodate bidirectional flow on the existing Transco pipeline system. On Sept. 15, 2017, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued its notice to proceed for the Atlantic Sunrise pipeline expansion. With all necessary permits and construction releases in place, Williams began construction for the greenfield portion of the project in Pennsylvania in late September. On Aug. 24, 2018, Williams filed with FERC to activate the Atlantic Sunrise pipeline on Sept. 10, 2018.


The Rise of Natural Gas

The natural gas supply landscape has shifted in recent years as a result of new gas discoveries, particularly located in the Northeast. As a result, the popularity of natural gas has never been higher. Today, because of its environmental advantages, natural gas fuels one-third of electric power generation and heats half of all U.S. homes — and those numbers continue to climb. Although the price of natural gas has fallen to historic lows in some regions of the U.S., a lack of sufficient pipeline infrastructure has prevented most consumers from realizing the full economic advantages of this abundant, domestic resource.

In response to this supply shift, Williams is developing a pipeline proposal known as the Atlantic Sunrise Project. This project is designed to relieve pipeline capacity constraints that lead to higher energy bills. It would include expanding the existing Transco transmission pipeline in Pennsylvania, as well as modifying some existing Transco facilities in other states, to allow gas to flow from north to south.

Quality of life

Every day, Americans commute to work, charge their phones and do a number of things that require reliable energy. But how often do we take a moment to stop and consider where our energy comes from?

 One source of abundant, American energy is natural gas. It’s used to generate power, fuel our transportation needs, and serve as a critical building block in American manufacturing. Through each of these uses, natural gas is reducing emissions, lowering the cost of energy and creating jobs.
How is natural gas delivered from the areas where it is produced to the homes and businesses who depend on it? Natural gas is transported from production areas to consuming areas through thousands of miles of steel pipelines buried underground. We depend on these pipelines so much that it would be easy to take them for granted. This highly sophisticated pipeline transportation system – also known as the “interstate highway” for natural gas — consists of more than 300,000 miles of high-strength steel transmission pipe, moving huge amounts of natural gas thousands of miles from producing regions to local natural gas utilities each and every day.

Energy Independence

Energy Independence. It’s no pipe dream. The U.S. is already the world’s fastest-growing oil and natural gas producer.

The U.S. Energy Information Agency says U.S. oil imports will drop 20% by 2025. As oil imports fall, the U.S. can make progress toward the goal of energy independence by continuing to develop its own natural resources.

In 1999, before the widespread production of shale gas in the U.S., the Energy Information Administration (EIA) estimate was that the U.S. had just 8 years of natural gas reserves left. Today, thanks to new natural gas discoveries, many experts agree the U.S. has a 100-year supply of natural gas.

According to the EIA, the Marcellus natural gas shale formation, primarily in Pennsylvania, is one of the largest natural gas supply areas in the country. In 2015 it was producing about 17 billion cubic feet of natural gas each day, accounting for about 18 percent of total U.S. wellhead production — up from just 3 percent in 2010. By 2020, Wood Mackenzie forecasts the Marcellus will account for 31 percent of total U.S. production.

The modern natural gas boom has given the U.S. a chance to achieve genuine energy independence and seriously cut down on carbon emissions. Because of its environmental advantages, natural gas fuels one-third of electric power generation and heats half of all U.S. homes — and those numbers continue to climb. Although the price of natural gas has fallen to historic lows in some regions of the U.S., a lack of sufficient underground pipeline infrastructure has prevented most consumers from fully realizing the advantages of this abundant, economic resource.

Pennsylvania's Potential

Natural gas is the most abundant, clean and reliable fuel source for everything from heating homes and businesses to generating much of the nation’s electricity. While Pennsylvania continues to produce record volumes of natural gas, insufficient pipeline infrastructure limited consumer access to the state’s supplies.

That’s where Atlantic Sunrise came in.

Atlantic Sunrise is a nearly $3 billion private investment that expanded the state’s energy infrastructure, spurred economic growth and put thousands of Pennsylvanians to work. So what did it all mean?

  • An estimated 8,000 jobs supported
  • $1.6 billion in additional wages, revenues and investments to the regional and state economies
  • $870 million in economic value added during the construction period
  • Access for millions more Americans to affordable, reliable, Pennsylvania-produced natural gas

At Williams, we’re didn’t just build a pipeline. We helped build a better future for Pennsylvania, and we are committed to the communities where we operate.  




Construction Process

A pipeline construction project looks much like a moving assembly line. A large project typically is broken into manageable lengths called “spreads,” and utilizes highly specialized and qualified workgroups. Each spread is composed of various crews, each with its own responsibilities. As one crew completes its work, the next crew moves into position to complete its piece of the construction process.