Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Colonial indefinitely delays $3 billion expansion as consumption falls

ATLANTA, Ga. - Colonial Pipeline on Feb. 23 said it has indefinitely postponed plans to expand its refined products system from Baton Rouge, La., to Atlanta.
Demand for gasoline and other petroleum products is down, making it difficult to project future market conditions, the company said in a news release.
Tim Felt, Colonial's new president and CEO, said the Alpharetta-based company was "eager to build this new pipeline, but we believe the prudent and conservative approach is best at this time."
Colonial had planned to start construction on the $3 billion pipeline in 2011.
In Georgia, negotiations with about 500 landowners for easements in Cobb. Paulding, Carroll and Haralson counties would have started in 2010.
Now the timeline is uncertain, Sam Whitehead, a Colonial spokesman, said.
Colonial announced plans to build a third, 460-mile mainline next to its two existing pipelines in 2006. Colonial's pipeline system, which runs underground from Houston to the New York harbor, transports about 70 percent of the petroleum used in Georgia, including gasoline, diesel and jet fuel.
Despite the delay, the company is still seeking the permits from the Georgia Environmental Protection Division. A decision is expected next month, said State Geologist Jim Kennedy.

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