The Adelphia Gateway Pipeline Project in the Greater Philadelphia region has secured a certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).

FERC has also affirmed the need for reliable pipeline infrastructure to serve constrained markets.

The project will convert 80.4km of an existing 135.1km long pipeline from oil to natural gas and previously northern 54.7km of the pipeline was converted to deliver natural gas in 1996.

New Jersey Resources president and CEO Steve Westhoven said: “We are pleased FERC approved the Adelphia Gateway project and issued a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity.

“This is a critical next step in our efforts to provide clean, low-cost natural gas to customers in the Greater Philadelphia region.”

The Adelphia Gateway project is expected to be operational by 2020

Upon completion of the purchase of Interstate Energy Company and the existing pipeline from Talen Generation, the northern zone will continue to operate to serve two natural gas-fired generation facilities in Lower Mount Bethel Township in Pennsylvania.

Subjected to all the necessary regulatory approvals, the NJR expects to begin work to convert the lower 80.4km of the pipeline from oil to natural gas.

Slated to be operation by 2020, the project will serve customers in the Greater Philadelphia area and is expected to provide economic benefits of about $677m over the first 15 years of its service.

The pipeline will deliver natural gas to Kimberly-Clark’s mill in Chester, Pennsylvania, allowing the company to replace its existing on-site coal-fired co-generation power plant.

Kimberly-Clark expects to cut 50% of its greenhouse gas emissions from the facility by switching to a natural gas-fired generation power plant.

In January this year, the project had secured Environmental Assessment (EA) from the FERC Staff.

The modification of the pipeline will be carried out to its portions spread across the Delaware, Chester, Bucks, Montgomery and Northampton counties to enable transportation of natural gas.