FERC approves TC Energy's US-Mexico North Baja natgas pipe expansion

(Reuters) - Canadian energy company TC Energy Corp's North Baja Pipeline LLC unit has received permission from U.S. energy regulators to put the North Baja natural gas pipeline expansion in Arizona and California into service.

In a filing on Tuesday, the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) clarified that its May 25 order included approval for all remaining facilities of the North Baja expansion.

The 0.495-billion cubic feet per day (bcfd) North Baja expansion will supply more U.S. natural gas to Mexico, including to U.S. energy company Sempra Energy's Costa Azul liquefied natural gas (LNG) export plant in Mexico, which is under construction.

The roughly $2 billion Costa Azul project on Mexico's Pacific Coast will be able to turn about 0.43 bcfd of gas into LNG once it enters service around mid 2025.

One billion cubic feet of gas can supply about 5 million U.S. homes for a day.

The North Baja expansion cost an estimated $127 MM, according to U.S. energy data.

FERC approved construction of the North Baja expansion in April 2022.

North Baja said it completed work on some facilities earlier this year.

North Baja is a bidirectional pipeline that entered service in 2002. It can move gas from Arizona to California and Mexico and from Mexico to California and Arizona.

Before the 2023 upgrade, North Baja could move about 0.5 bcfd of gas south from Arizona to California and Mexico, and about 0.614 bcfd north from Mexico to California and up to 0.695 bcfd north from California to Arizona, according to federal energy data.

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