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


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.


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

First Responders, Schools & Townships Benefit From Community Grants

$350,417 in Funding Spread across 10 Pennsylvania Counties

Pittsburgh, PA — Fire departments, schools, libraries and townships are a few of the 40 Pennsylvania organizations that will receive more than $350,000 in funding this fall from Williams through its bi-annual community grant program. Grants up to $10,000 per applicant are being awarded by Williams to eligible organizations in communities where the proposed Atlantic Sunrise pipeline project would be constructed and operated.

asr_grant_fbOne of the 40 recipients is the Dallas School District in Luzerne County, which plans to use its $7,500 grant to offer a new, innovative welding course to students.

“The support we’re receiving from Williams will be used to help us kick off a ‘welding 101’ course at Dallas High School which we will offer to both our day-students and community members in the evening,” said Jason Rushmer, Dallas High School Principal. “We will be the first area school to offer this type of course which will help train welders for entering the workforce, especially the energy-related field that are in such close proximity to our district.”

Another recipient is the Conestoga Volunteer Fire Company, which is using its $10,000 grant to contribute toward replacing its existing fire engine.

“These dollars will go a long way towards helping us reach our goal of purchasing a new fire engine,” said Troy Bresch, president of the Conestoga Volunteer Fire company. “The new technology available today will make our firefighters more effective in responding to incidents by working with a new engine versus technology from 1990. Williams’ generous financial support is greatly appreciated by our Conestoga firefighters.”

Today’s announcement represents the fourth grant award cycle since the Atlantic Sunrise community grant program was initiated in 2015. Since then, Williams has announced total awards of more than $1.46 million across the 10-county Atlantic Sunrise project area.

Two cycles of Atlantic Sunrise grant awards are announced each year (spring and fall). This cycle’s grant dollars were dispersed in the following broad categories: emergency response ($222,717), education ($51,700) and recreation or community enhancement projects ($76,000).


Williams Grant Award Recipients:

Clinton County

  • Woolrich Volunteer Fire Co. No. 1 – Amkus rescue tool. Grant award: $10,000
  • Renovo Borough – In-car police video cameras. Grant award: $6,000

Columbia County

  • Millville Borough Police Department – Computer server. Grant award: $10,000
  • Benton Area Rodeo Association – Repairs and improvements. Grant award: $9,000
  • Aristes Fire Company No. 1 – New SCBA cylinders. Grant award: $10,000
  • Millville Community Fire Company – New SCBA cylinders. Grant award: $10,000
  • Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble – Light board replacement. Grant award: $3,000
  • Millville Area Zone Emergency Management Agency – Radios and safety vests. Grant award: $9,217
  • Orangeville Borough – Restore borough playground. Grant award: $5,000

Lancaster County

  • Drumore Township — Community park enhancements. Grant award: $10,000
  • Mt. Joy Township Forest Fire Company – Wildland firefighting UTV. Grant award: $10,000
  • Southern Regional Police Department – In-car police video cameras. Grant award: $10,000
  • Lancaster Township Fire Department – Command vehicle project. Grant award: $10,000
  • Conestoga Volunteer Fire Company – Fire engine replacement. Grant award: $10,000
  • Lampeter Fire Company No. 1 – Upgrade exterior lighting, replace siren. Grant award: $10,000

Lebanon County

  • Hebron Hose Company No. 1 – Update firefighting equipment. Grant award: $10,000
  • Prescott Community Fire Company – Safety gear and ladders. Grant award: $10,000
  • Neversink Fire Company – Foam upgrade. Grant award: $10,000
  • Palmyra Public Library – Information technology lab. Grant award: $8,000

Luzerne County

  • Dallas School District – Welding 101 course. Grant award: $7,500
  • Back Mountain Memorial Library – Enrichment touch screen computer. Grant award: $8,200
  • Harding Fire Company – Turnout gear replacement. Grant award: $10,000
  • Kistler Elementary – STEM classes. Grant award: $6,000
  • Lake Township – Emergency battery backup system for traffic lights. Grant award: $7,500

Lycoming County

  • Willing Hand Hose Company of Montoursville – Hydraulic rescue tool. Grant award: $10,000
  • City Softball League – Tate field improvement. Grant award: $6,500
  • Foundation of the Williamsport / Lycoming Chamber of Commerce – Safety barricades. Grant award: $5,000
  • Economic Community Growth Corporation – 6th annual science festival. Grant award: $5,000

Northumberland County

  • Liberty Hose Company – Fire equipment. Grant award: $10,000
  • Shamokin Emergency Squad – Replace Jaws of Life. Grant award: $10,000
  • Northumberland County Career and Technology Center—Sunrise-Cabot bakery. Grant award: $10,000

Schuylkill County

  • Pine Grove Community Ambulance Association – Radios. Grant award: $10,000
  • Pine Grove Township – Emergency management radios. Grant award: $7,500
  • West End Hose Company No. 7 – Personal safety gear. Grant award: $10,000
  • Schuylkill County Fire Historical Society – Museum roof. Grant award: $10,000
  • Schuylkill Hose Company No. 2 – Emergency tower equipment. Grant award: $10,000

Susquehanna County

  • North Tier Industry & Education Consortium – Youth apprenticeships. Grant award: $7,000

Wyoming County

  • Meshoppen Volunteer Fire Company –AED replacement. Grant award: $10,000
  • Factoryville Borough – Community park equipment. Grant award: $10,000
  • Tunkhannock Baseball Association – Scoreboard project. Grant award: $10,000


About Atlantic Sunrise

The Atlantic Sunrise project is a proposed expansion of the existing Transco natural gas pipeline system in eastern Pennsylvania designed to transport enough natural gas to serve approximately 7 million homes. The design and construction of the project is projected to generate approximately $1.6 billion in positive economic impact, according to a study authored by researchers at Pennsylvania State University.

About Williams

Williams operates the Transco pipeline, which consists of more than 10,000 miles of pipe and provides about one-third of the natural gas consumed in Pennsylvania. Williams operates pipelines and related facilities which handle about 30% of the nation’s natural gas.

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Williams Helps Raise Funds to Support the Lackawanna College School of Petroleum & Natural Gas

Friendsville, PA — On Oct. 7, Williams participated in the 2016 Cabot Fall Classic Sporting Clay Tournament at Hausmann’s Hidden Hollow. Hosted by Cabot Oil & Gas, the third annual clay shoot brought together more than 350 energy professionals and local businesspeople to support the Lackawanna College School of Petroleum & Natural Gas. Williams’ donation of $10,000 supports the education of students preparing for careers in petroleum and natural gas, and for the third year in a row, Cabot’s event raised more than $100,000 for the college.Students from the college assisted at the event and were presented opportunities to network

Students from the college assisted at the event and were presented opportunities to network with industry professionals and discuss internship opportunities.

Brian Costanzo, vice president for college advancement at Lackawanna College, highlighted the importance of the company’s involvement in education, saying “our students are very fortunate to have such great industry partners. Without those partnerships, our students aren’t getting the experience they need to succeed in the industry.”

In addition to the donation, Williams had two teams (10 people) participating in the Fall Classic. A Williams community outreach team was on hand to provide information and to collect signatures in support of the Atlantic Sunrise pipeline project.

*** Video and sound bites permitted for broadcast and news purposes are available for download here. ***


Williams Supports U.S. Manufacturers

Pittsburgh – In recognition of National Manufacturing Day, Jim Scheel, senior vice president, Williams Northeast Gathering and Processing, today issued the following statement of support

Oct. 7 is National Manufacturing Day, and as we recognize the hard-working people behind American-made goods, it is important to note the vital role natural gas plays in propelling manufacturing forward across Pennsylvania and throughout the United States.

In response to tremendous demand for the robust natural gas supply in our state, companies like Williams have been able to transport this resource to businesses that use natural gas to power their facilities and as feedstock to manufacture materials, such as steel, machinery, advanced plastics, adhesives, coatings, cleaning agents and more.

The abundance, reliability and cost-effectiveness of natural gas is helping manufacturers produce industrial products competitively, driving demand for them.

Despite challenges associated with building new infrastructure that expands our ability to supply natural gas to the people and businesses that want and need access to it – mainly caused by regulatory uncertainty – more than $100 billion in new manufacturing investment and over 150 new economic development projects have been announced throughout the U.S. due to the abundance of domestic oil and gas.

In turn, the manufacturing sector has continued to revitalize the nation, adding over $2 trillion to the U.S. economy in 2013 and providing jobs for over 12 million Americans. Its importance to our country’s growth cannot be overstated and should not be swept aside.

However, with limited pipeline capacity, manufacturing investment and consumer benefits are not being fully realized. To maximize investment and optimize the complementary nature of the relationship between the natural gas industry and the manufacturing sector, there must be a clear line of sight for how natural gas will get to market. This can only happen by improving and making more consistent the regulatory process for pipeline permitting and construction. 

The natural gas industry and manufacturing sector are partners in bringing change to the Commonwealth. With continued educational programs, a more consistent regulatory environment, skilled labor training and subsequent job creation, the entire state can continue to benefit from this collaboration.


Joe Horvath
Communications for Williams

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