March 29, 2018 / 2:31 PM / in 2 years

Dominion to complete Atlantic Coast natgas pipe by end 2019

March 29 (Reuters) - Dominion Energy Inc said Thursday it was still on track to finish its $5 billion Atlantic Coast natural gas pipeline from West Virginia to North Carolina in late 2019:

* The response from the company came after the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) late on Wednesday denied Dominion’s March 15 request for more time to cut trees

* “We have a path forward to begin construction this spring and complete the project by the end of 2019,” Aaron Ruby, a spokesman for Dominion said in an email

* Ruby said Dominion has completed tree felling on more than 200 miles of the 600-mile (966-kilometer) route

* “While that’s less than we planned for this year, we’ll still have a productive construction season,” Ruby said, noting the company would rearrange some of its construction plans and shift some work to 2019

* Virginia lifts its tree clearing restrictions on migrating habitats on Aug. 30 for birds and Sept. 15 for bats, according to a release by the Sierra Club, which opposes construction of the Atlantic Coast pipeline

* FERC’s “decision is a win for the people and communities in the path of this destructive project,” said Kelly Martin, director of the Sierra Club’s Beyond Dirty Fuels Campaign, in a statement

* Atlantic Coast is designed to carry about 1.5 billion cubic feet per day (bcfd) of gas from the Marcellus and Utica shale formations in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ohio to customers in Virginia and North Carolina

* One billion cubic feet of gas is enough to fuel about 5 million U.S. homes for a day

* Atlantic Coast is a partnership between units of Virginia energy company Dominion, North Carolina energy company Duke Energy Corp and Georgia energy company Southern Co . Dominion will build and operate the pipe

* To feed gas into Atlantic Coast and other pipelines, Dominion also wants to build the 38-mile Supply Header project in West Virginia and Pennsylvania at a cost of about $500 million

Reporting by Scott DiSavino Editing by Susan Thomas

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