The 42-inch diameter Tiger Pipeline will have an initial capacity of two billion cubic feet per day and is expected to be in service in the first quarter of 2011.

Through a planned expansion project, and subject to FERC approval, the ultimate capacity of the Tiger Pipeline is expected to be 2.4 billion cubic feet per day, all of which is sold out under long-term contracts ranging from 10 to 15 years. Pending necessary regulatory approvals, the expansion is expected to be in service in the last half of 2011.

The Tiger Pipeline will originate in Panola County, Texas, and terminate in Richland Parish, Louisiana, interconnecting to seven interstate pipelines and one intrastate pipeline for ultimate delivery to markets across the Northeast, Southeast, Mid-Atlantic and Midwest.

Construction of the pipeline has been awarded to two contractors: Henkels & McCoy (78 miles) and Michels Corporation (97 miles). Pre-expansion project costs for the Tiger Pipeline are expected to be $1.09bn.

Lee Hanse, senior vice president of interstate pipeline division at Energy Transfer Partners, said: “The start of construction on the Tiger Pipeline marks an exciting achievement for us as we are on schedule and under budget.

“We are dedicated to continuing this forward momentum as the Tiger project will provide our customers unparalleled access out of the Haynesville Shale and Bossier Sands producing regions. Furthermore, from a financial perspective the Tiger Pipeline will benefit our unitholders as it will provide significant distributable cash flow in 2011 and subsequent years.”