Williams Companies Inc. (WMB - Free Report) recently completed the construction of its Gateway expansion project ahead of schedule. The project was expected to come online by November 2020. This is certainly good news for investors! The accomplishment came 11 months prior to the expected date to fulfil the rise in demand for natural gas from customers residing in New Jersey’s tri-state area during the winter-heating period of 2019 to 2020.
Notably, the company had applied for the Gateway expansion project’s FERC permit in late 2017. In July 2018, FERC released its Environmental Assessment for the same, citing that it fulfils requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act and that the approval of the project will not harm the cause of environmental safety. The FERC ended its review process and gave the final go-ahead to the project. Upon the receipt of the required regulatory nods, the company began building the project in early 2019.
Gateway project is an extension of the company’s Transco pipeline. Notably, the pipeline supplies almost half of the natural gas consumed in New York and New Jersey. With the existing Transco pipeline capacity being fully utilized, additional gas volumes will be delivered to the northeastern markets. As a matter of fact, this expansion increased the pipeline’s system-design capacity to 17.3 million dekatherms per day This system contains roughly 10,000 miles long pipeline connecting South Texas with New York City.
With this project, the cost-effective natural gas service provider will support almost 280,000 households with their daily home heating, warm water and cooking needs. This, in turn, will help customers switch from heating oil to natural gas, potentially saving nearly $1,460 per annually per household in contrast to heating oil. Throughout the construction process, the project curbed the community and environmental effects by increasing the functioning of the existing pipeline infrastructure with virtually all project activities within Transco’s bounds in New Jersey.
The Transco pipeline system along with its expansion projects, namely Gulf Trace, Hillabee Phase 1, Dalton, New York Bay and Virginia Southside II, which became functional in 2017, poise to contribute substantially to the company’s future earnings and cash flow.
Importantly, in March 2018, Williams’ Phase 2 of the Garden State Expansion Project became active, another notable project of the Transco pipeline. The second phase of the Garden State Expansion Project supplies 180,000 dekatherms of gas per day to Burlington and Mercer counties in New Jersey.
Notably, in September 2018, Williams closed the construction of the Atlantic Sunrise project and sought the final green signal from FERC. Other expansionary projects like North East Supply Enhancement and Gulf Connector will maintain the cash flow momentum of Williams.
Zacks Rank & Key Picks
Williams currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Some better-ranked players in the energy space are TC Energy Corporation (TRP - Free Report) , Kosmos Energy Ltd (KOS - Free Report) and Suncor Energy Inc. (SU - Free Report) , all carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
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