Sabal Trail Transmission LLC officials say construction of the company’s $3.2-billion natural-gas pipeline, approved in February 2016, is now 88% complete. Running from central Alabama, through southern Georgia to near Orlando, Fla., the line is scheduled to begin operations in June.
Projections call for the 515-mile-long conduit to transport 1 billion cu ft of natural gas per day. The development is a joint venture of Spectra Energy Partners, NextEra Energy Inc. and Duke Energy. The buried line will convey gas from the Transco Pipeline, north of Alexander City, Ala., to Florida Power and Light and Duke Energy of Florida for electric generation in central Florida. Houston-based Gulf Interstate Engineering is providing engineering and construction management for the pipeline, five compression stations and metering installation.
Spectra spokeswoman Andrea Grover notes that, at the end of February, 61 miles of pipe remained to be placed.
“We are on target to be commercially operational by the end of June,” she says.
The pipeline is a mix of 36-in. and 24-in.-dia high-strength steel pipe, manufactured by Berg Pipe Group.
Grover says Florida’s current natural-gas pipeline infrastructure is running at or near capacity and not adequate to meet the growing demand in central and southern Florida.
According to Grover, more than 5,700 people have worked on the construction. In central Florida, the project has attracted protestors who are concerned about risk to the area’s pristine aquifer.