Natural gas company proposes pipeline upgrade

NATCHEZ, Miss. (AP) — American Midstream Partners is proposing the reconstruction of its American Midstream Midla mainline pipeline in Louisiana and Mississippi.

The company is conducting a so-called “open season,” which is a period of courting shippers to determine if the project is viable. The company says shippers have until Dec. 27 to record their interest in replacing the line.

The Natchez Democrat reports that the Midla Pipeline was built in 1926, and the company said if reconstruction starts it will try to minimize environmental and other impacts by building as much as possible along the existing pipeline corridor.

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One of the options presented in the open season include a Natchez line, in which the pipeline would be rebuilt from Winnsboro, La., to Natchez and mainline facilities to the north of Winnsboro to Monroe and from Natchez to Zachary would be retired.

The second option is for a Natchez-Plus line, which would include the upsizing of the Natchez line to foster industrial development.

The third option would be to replicate the line along the existing right of way and pressure capacity the company currently has.

The line currently runs from Monroe to Baton Rouge.

If the company receives sufficient interest in the reconstruction, Midla will start the necessary regulatory processes to allow reconstruction in late spring or early summer 2014. Natchez Inc. has been working with American Midstream for several months on the matter.

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“The high pressure option for us — as long as it has some future capacity in it — is something that would be extremely advantageous for the area,” Natchez Inc. Executive Director Chandler Russ said. “You would have a high pressure line, meaning you can deliver gas at a higher pressure to industrial customers, as well as it being a new modern delivery system.

“It is something on the radar screen in a significant manner to make sure Natchez and our industrial customers end up with the best and most robust gas delivery system as is economically feasible.”

Vidalia, La., Mayor Hyram Copeland said the city has been actively working with the open season, and he has a meeting Thursday to discuss the open season and other gas-related issues.

“It would be a tremendous asset, a tremendous factor in recruiting new industries to be able to service those major (gas) loads,” he said.