Ruby Pipeline Project, United States of America

El Paso Corporation's Ruby Pipeline project is a 680-mile, 42in-diameter, interstate natural gas transmission pipeline. The pipeline begins at Opal Hub in Wyoming, US, and traverses through the states of Utah and Nevada to end at Malin in Oregon. The project was approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in April 2010.

Construction of the pipeline began in July 2010 and it was put into service in July 2011.

The pipeline has an initial capacity of 1.3 billion-1.5 billion cubic feet (bcf) a day, which can be expanded up to 2bcf per day. It connects natural gas producers in the Rocky Mountains to users in California, Nevada and the Pacific Northwest. The pipeline supplies competitively priced natural gas to these regions where demand is growing steadily.

El Paso invested $3.65bn in the project and has set up a subsidiary, Ruby Pipeline LLC, to execute it. In May 2010, a $1.5bn debt facility was provided for the project by a group of domestic and international banks.

Approvals from other regulatory authorities including the Bureau of Land Management, the US Army Corps of Engineers and historic preservation agencies were received by the third quarter of 2010. The project was also approved by stakeholders including the US Forest Service and US Fish and Wildlife Service.

"The Ruby pipeline has an initial capacity of 1.5bcf a day."

Ruby Pipeline construction

Construction of the Ruby pipeline was carried out by four companies: US Pipeline, Precision Pipeline, Rockford Corporation and Associated Pipeline Contractors. Each firm worked on different segments of the pipeline.

Construction of sections 1 (123 miles) and 3 (120 miles) was carried out by US Pipeline. Section 2 (51 miles) was constructed by Associated Pipeline Contractors. Precision Pipeline built sections 4 (109 miles) and 5 (146 miles). The last two sections, 6 (66 miles) and 7 (60 miles), were constructed by Rockford Corporation.

Welspun India manufactured 262,010t of 80ft-long spiral weld pipes for the project. Bredero Shaw and Bayou Coating provided the coating, and a further 175,000t of pipe was manufactured by Berg Spiral Pipe.

Contractors for the Ruby Pipeline project

Construction of the pipeline was carried out by four companies: US Pipeline, Precision Pipeline, Rockford Corporation and Associated Pipeline Contractors. Each company worked on different segments of the pipeline.

Construction of sections 1 (123 miles) and 3 (120 miles) is being carried out by US Pipeline. Section 2 (51 miles) is being constructed by Associated Pipeline Contractors. Precision Pipeline is building sections 4 (109 miles) and 5 (146 miles). The last two sections, 6 (66 miles) and 7 (60 miles), is being constructed by Rockford Corporation.

The pipes required for the pipeline have been purchased. Welspun India has manufactured 262,010t of 80ft long spiral weld pipes for the project. Bredero Shaw and Bayou Coating provided the coating, and a further 175,000t of pipe was manufactured by Berg Spiral Pipe.

"The Ruby pipeline is being constructed completely underground."

Gulf Interstate Engineering provided the project management, engineering and design services for the project's four compressor stations.

In May 2009, Siemens was awarded a contract for supplying three compressors for the project. The 23,000hp compressors feature 17MW electric motors and are installed at Roberson Creek.

El Paso has entered into an agreement with Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) to supply 375,000 dekatherms per day of natural gas to PG&E's customers for a period of 15 years. In total, the company has received commitments for 1.1bcf of natural gas per day from customers under ten to 15-year contracts.

Ruby pipeline partners

El Paso signed an agreement with Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP), an independent infrastructure fund under which GIP invested about $700m in the project. GIP will increase its stake to 50% in the project upon satisfaction of various closing conditions.

PG&E also signed an agreement with El Paso to acquire a 25.5% stake in the Ruby Pipeline project.

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