Williams Partners L.P. (NYSE: WPZ) announced today that it has executed long-term contracts with two shippers for Gulf Connector, a 475,000 dekatherm per day expansion of the Transco pipeline system to connect U.S. natural gas supplies with global liquefied natural gas (LNG) markets.

Gulf Connector will deliver gas for the Cheniere Energy, Inc. (NYSE: LNG) Corpus Christi liquefaction project and a shipper in Freeport LNG Development, L.P.’s liquefaction project near Freeport, Texas. Both the Corpus Christi and Freeport liquefaction facilities are currently under construction.

The Gulf Connector project involves adding compression and making the natural gas flow bi-directional on a portion of the Transco system between Louisiana and south Texas, pending appropriate regulatory approvals. It’s designed to provide incremental firm transportation from Transco’s Station 65 in St. Helena Parish, La., to mainline interconnects with proposed header pipelines in Wharton County, Texas and San Patricio County, Texas.

“Gulf Connector is another great example of Williams Partners leveraging our existing infrastructure to serve new and growing market opportunities for North America’s natural gas,” said Rory Miller, senior vice president of Williams Partners’ Atlantic-Gulf operating area.

As previously announced, Williams Partners is also building the Gulf Trace Project to serve Cheniere’s Sabine Pass Liquefaction project in Cameron Parish, La., the first large-scale LNG export facility in operation in the continental United States. The first shipment of LNG from that facility is expected late February or March and the Gulf Trace Project is expected to be completed in early 2017. Both Gulf Connector and the Gulf Trace Project are included in Williams Partners’ 2016 growth capital funding plan.

Cheniere’s Corpus Christi export terminal is proposed to have up to five liquefaction trains (two of which are under construction) with expected aggregate nominal production capacity of up to 22.5 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) of LNG. Train 1 and 2 are expected to become operational in late 2018 and mid-2019, respectively.

The Freeport LNG export terminal will have three liquefaction trains with expected aggregate export capacity of 15.3 mtpa. The Freeport export facility is also planned to commence operations in phases between September 2018 and August 2019.

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 is a major provider of cost-effective natural gas services that reach U.S. markets in 12 Southeast and Atlantic Seaboard states, including major metropolitan areas in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.


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