Williams Partners Updates Target In-Service Date for Proposed Atlantic Sunrise Project

  • Company expects partial service to begin during the second half of 2017; targeting full service mid-2018
  • Unique Marcellus takeaway project leverages significant existing infrastructure to connect Pennsylvania production with East Coast Markets
Friday, October 28, 2016 6:45 am EDT

Dateline:

TULSA, Okla. — (BUSINESS WIRE)–Williams Partners L.P. (NYSE: WPZ) today reported that while it expects to begin a portion of its Atlantic Sunrise expansion project service during the second half of 2017, it is revising the targeted full in-service for the project to mid-2018.

The revision is a result of the recently updated schedule of environmental review published Oct. 20 by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and anticipated delays in receipt of certain permits required to commence construction, as well as expected construction within required environmental windows.

FERC’s revised environmental review schedule establishes Dec. 30, 2016 as the date for its issuance of the final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). Following the receipt of all necessary regulatory approvals, Williams Partners anticipates beginning construction on the Transco mainline facilities in mid-2017 to create a much-needed path from the northern part of the Transco system into its southeast markets for the 2017-2018 heating season.

“We continue to work with the FERC, state and other federal permitting agencies to secure the necessary approvals to construct this critical infrastructure project and connect consumers along the East Coast with abundant, cost-effective Pennsylvania natural gas supplies,” said Rory Miller, senior vice president of Williams Partners’ Atlantic-Gulf operating area. “We would also note Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf’s recent comments that new energy infrastructure projects, including Atlantic Sunrise, are critical to Pennsylvania’s economic future because they enable consumers to access an affordable, reliable and cleaner-burning energy resource. We also share the governor’s commitment to protecting our environment.

“Unlike other Marcellus takeaway projects, a leading advantage of Atlantic Sunrise is that through modifications to the existing Transco mainline the project will be able to deliver a highly effective, environmentally-responsible solution to connect Pennsylvania natural gas production with markets hundreds of miles away. In advance of putting the full project into service, this affords us a unique opportunity to provide a portion of service prior to completing the full project.”

The FERC EIS assesses the potential environmental effects of the construction and operation of the project in accordance with the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act. The FERC is the primary approval agency and serves in a coordinating role with other relevant agencies.

In May 2016 the FERC released a draft EIS, concluding that environmental impacts would be reduced to “less than significant levels” with the implementation of mitigation measures proposed by the company and FERC.

Consistent with prior practice, Williams Partners’ financial plan further risks these project cash flows by approximately six months.

About Atlantic Sunrise

Once complete, the Atlantic Sunrise expansion will help alleviate infrastructure bottlenecks in Pennsylvania, connecting abundant Marcellus gas supplies with markets in the Mid-Atlantic and Southeastern U.S. The nearly $3 billion expansion of the existing Transco natural gas pipeline is designed to increase deliveries by 1.7 billion cubic feet per day (enough to provide service to seven million homes). Williams Partners’ net investment in the Atlantic Sunrise project is expected to be approximately $1.9 billion.

Pennsylvania State University researchers forecast the Atlantic Sunrise project to directly and indirectly support approximately 8,000 jobs in the 10 Pennsylvania counties during the project’s construction phase, resulting in an estimated $1.6 billion economic impact in the project area.

Additional information about the Atlantic Sunrise project can be found at www.williams.com/atlanticsunrise.

Transco is a wholly owned subsidiary of Williams Partners, of which Williams (NYSE: WMB) owns controlling interests and is the general partner. Transco is the nation’s largest and fastest-growing interstate natural gas transmission pipeline system. It delivers natural gas to customers through its 10,200-mile pipeline network whose mainline extends nearly 1,800 miles between South Texas and New York City. The system provides cost-effective natural gas services to U.S. markets in the Southeast and Atlantic seaboard states, including major metropolitan areas in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, as well as international markets.

About Williams Partners

Williams Partners (NYSE: WPZ) is an industry-leading, large-cap natural gas infrastructure master limited partnership with a strong growth outlook and major positions in key U.S. supply basins. Williams Partners has operations across the natural gas value chain from gathering, processing and interstate transportation of natural gas and natural gas liquids to petchem production of ethylene, propylene and other olefins. Williams Partners owns and operates more than 33,000 miles of pipelines system wide – including the nation’s largest volume and fastest growing pipeline – providing natural gas for clean-power generation, heating and industrial use. Williams Partners’ operations touch approximately 30 percent of U.S. natural gas. Tulsa, Okla.-based Williams (NYSE: WMB), a premier provider of large-scale U.S. natural gas infrastructure, owns 60 percent of Williams Partners, including all of the 2 percent general-partner interest. www.williams.com

Portions of this document may constitute “forward-looking statements” as defined by federal law. Although the partnership believes any such statements are based on reasonable assumptions, there is no assurance that actual outcomes will not be materially different. Additional information about issues that could lead to material changes in performance is contained in the partnership’s annual and quarterly reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Contact:

Williams Partners L.P.
Media Contact:
Keith Isbell, 918-573-7308
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Investor Contacts:
John Porter, 918-573-0797
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Brett Krieg, 918-573-4614