Piedmont Natural Gas (PNY) announced its equity investment in Constitution Pipeline Company, LLC, a natural gas pipeline project slated to transport natural gas supplies from the prolific Marcellus supply region in northern Pennsylvania to major northeastern markets. The project is scheduled to be in service by March 2015. Piedmont Natural Gas, through its wholly-owned subsidiary Piedmont Constitution Pipeline Company, LLC, joins Williams Partners L.P. (WPZ) and Cabot Oil and Gas Corporation (COG) as a 24 percent equity participant in the joint venture, and will invest an estimated $180 million in the new project.
Thomas E. Skains, Piedmont's Chairman, President, and CEO commented on the Company's involvement, "Piedmont's equity participation in the Constitution Pipeline project aligns very well with our strategic focus on expanding our investments in complementary energy-related businesses as a means of enhancing shareholder value." Skains continued, "We are excited about making an investment in strategic pipeline infrastructure in the Marcellus supply basin that will transport clean, low cost natural gas supplies to premium East Coast markets and provide substantial benefits for both natural gas producers and consumers. We are equally excited to be joining such strong joint venture partners as Williams Partners and Cabot Oil and Gas, as both are outstanding companies and widely respected in our industry."
An affiliate of Williams Partners will construct, operate, and maintain the new 30-inch, 121-mile long transmission pipeline that is being designed with sufficient capacity to transport 650,000 dekatherms of natural gas per day (a quantity of natural gas that can serve approximately 3 million homes) from established Marcellus production areas in Susquehanna County of northern Pennsylvania. The pipeline will connect with the Iroquois Gas Transmission and Tennessee Gas Pipeline systems in Schoharie County, New York and is already fully contracted with long-term commitments from established natural gas producers currently operating in Pennsylvania; Piedmont will not be a customer of Constitution Pipeline. Williams Partners will maintain a 51 percent ownership share, Cabot Oil and Gas a 25 percent share, and Piedmont Natural Gas, through its wholly owned subsidiary, a 24 percent share in the pipeline venture.
"Williams Partners enjoys a long-term, mutually beneficial relationship with Piedmont as a customer on our Transco pipeline system and as a joint venture partner in existing pipeline and storage infrastructure projects in North Carolina. We are delighted to expand that relationship with Piedmont as a new partner in the Constitution Pipeline," said Alan Armstrong, chief executive officer of Williams Partners. "Constitution is a key component of the Susquehanna Supply Hub that Williams Partners is expanding to connect Marcellus Shale producers like Cabot and Southwestern Energy with the highest-value markets.
"The Constitution Pipeline is a great example of the kind of leadership and investment –from energy-infrastructure providers like Williams Partners, utilities like Piedmont and producers like Cabot – that we believe is key to building the foundation our nation needs to realize the full benefits of the new abundance of long-lived, clean-burning natural gas supplies in Pennsylvania's Marcellus Shale and elsewhere in North America."