A leading master limited partnership,
Williams Partners L.P.
) received Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) approval
to expand its natural gas pipeline system Transco, to provide
service to a new, gas-fired, power-generation plant in Virginia.
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The 1,358-megawatt plant would be constructed by a unit of
Dominion Resources, Inc.
) in Brunswick County, Va.
The approximately $300 million Transco expansion is designed to
provide 270,000 dekatherms per day (dth/d) of incremental
transportation capacity in Virginia and North Carolina by Sep
2015. Of the total expanded capacity, more than 90% will serve
Dominion Virginia Power's new power plant; the remainder will
Piedmont Natural Gas Company Inc.
) local-distribution business in North Carolina.
The Virginia Southside Expansion is part of $2.2 billion of
Transco growth projects that Williams Partners plans to bring
into service between 2013 and 2017. Together, these projects are
designed to increase the Transco system capacity by more than
35%. The expansions, which consist of 11 projects in nine eastern
states, are designed to serve customers' demand for power
generation, industries and local distribution.
A 10,200-mile Transco pipeline supplies natural gas
transportation and storage services markets throughout the
Northeastern and Southeastern United States. The key markets of
the pipeline include New York City, Philadelphia, Washington D.C.
and Atlanta, while the major customers are mainly power
generators, local distribution companies and producers.
Over the last 10 years, the company has invested nearly $2
billion and commissioned 21 Transco growth projects. Currently,
the system capacity is around 10.2 million dekatherms per day,
which is adequate to provide natural gas to about 42 million
Williams Partners carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Investors
interested in the oil and gas industry may consider a
better-ranked stock like
AmeriGas Partners LP
). This Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) stock is expected to
outperform in the near term.