PennEast Expects First Phase of Gas Pipeline in Service Next Year

(Reuters) — PennEast Pipeline Co said on Thursday it still expects to put the first phase of its $1.2 billion natural gas pipeline project in Pennsylvania in service in 2022 and complete the second phase from Pennsylvania to New Jersey in 2024.

PennEast is involved in a case before the U.S. Supreme Court with New Jersey over whether the company can seize state-owned or controlled land under federal eminent domain rules.

Earlier this week, the Biden administration filed a brief with the Supreme Court that agreed with a filing by the Trump administration urging the court to overturn a 2019 ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. That ruling blocked PennEast from using federal eminent domain to seize state land.

"PennEast appreciates the continued support of the United States, which underscores this case presents an issue that cuts across party lines," the company said in a statement.

The U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) approved PennEast's request to build the pipeline in January 2018. The company had hoped to complete the project in 2019.

But PennEast is just one of several gas pipelines facing state opposition in the U.S. Northeast. Two of Williams Cos Inc's proposed pipelines face state opposition, including the now canceled Constitution project in New York and the Northeast Supply Enhancement project in New Jersey, which is on hold.

PennEast needs the New Jersey land to build its 120-mile (193 km) pipeline, which is designed to deliver 1.1 billion cubic feet per day of gas from the Marcellus shale formation in Pennsylvania to customers in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

One billion cubic feet is enough gas to supply about 5 million U.S. homes for one day.

The PennEast partners include units of South Jersey Industries Inc, New Jersey Resources Corp, Southern Co, Enbridge Inc and UGI Corp.

Officials from the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection were not immediately available.

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