The imminent completion of the Mariner East project is good news for Pennsylvanians for a number of reasons. The new section of the 16-inch pipeline in Chester County that recently was commissioned brings our current capacity to approximately 260,000 barrels per day of natural gas liquids (NGLs). We anticipate placing the final segment into service in the first quarter of 2022.
There are many benefits to expanding and completing Mariner East. The pipeline system supplies the majority of our region’s propane demand as a vital fuel and heating source. This is especially important in light of current supply constraints for energy products and rising winter demand. In addition, there are many everyday items – from clothing and electronics to thousands of items used for recreation, school/work and health care – that are derived from propane, ethane and butane, all of which are moved through the system.
290 Major Mod
Upon receiving approval from the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) for our 290 major modification, we will be able to complete the system entirely and focus on restoration. The modification will enable our crews to install the 20-inch pipeline via the open cut method. This is widely supported because it will reduce the amount of work time compared to horizontal directional drilling (HDD) and will eliminate the potential for an inadvertent return (more on that here).
In fact, more than 800 comments in support of the modification’s approval were submitted to the DEP during the public comment period this summer, representing approximately 80% of written comments. Additionally, at a DEP public hearing in June, more than half of those who testified expressed support of the permit approval to allow Energy Transfer to complete this project.
Pennsylvania Access — A Major Bonus
Finishing Mariner East opens additional opportunities to increase Pennsylvanians’ access to fuel. Our new Pennsylvania Access initiative will begin moving refined products this winter, made possible by recent completions on Mariner East. Pennsylvania Access will utilize our current 8-inch Mariner East 1 pipeline, changing the majority of it back to refined products service as it originally served.
This will bring gasoline and ultra-low-sulfur diesel from refineries in the Midwest to markets in Pennsylvania and New York. Pennsylvania Access allows additional domestic gasoline to reach Pennsylvania and other East Coast markets to meet demand, which is welcome news as everyone continues to experience rising fuel costs.
Pennsylvania Access creates an efficient, cost-effective way to move these products to meet increasing consumer demand by using existing refined products pipelines and terminal assets, and incorporating refined products into the Mariner East system’s liquid fuels transportation capabilities.
We are thrilled to be nearing completion of this critical infrastructure project that continues to benefit communities across Pennsylvania. While parts of the system have been in service for several years, bringing the pipelines fully online will allow the region to realize maximum potential – from annual tax revenues across Pennsylvania municipalities to enhanced energy and supply chain security – for many years to come.