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    Equitrans will push ahead with Mountain Valley

Summary

Completion of the $6.6bn Appalachia pipeline now expected in H2 2023.

by: Dale Lunan

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Equitrans will push ahead with Mountain Valley

US natural gas midstream infrastructure company Equitrans Midstream said May 3 it would push ahead with its problem-plagued Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) in the Appalachian basin, and expects completion of the now-$6.6bn project in the second half next year.

Alongside reporting Q1 2022 net income of $105mn and adjusted EBITDA of $277mn, Equitrans said it was encouraged by federal regulatory approvals in April for amended construction plans on MVP, including using trenchless construction methods on certain water crossings and wetlands.

The project was halted early in Q1 when the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit quashed permits issued by the US Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management for work in the Jefferson National Forest and a biological opinion issued by the US Fish and Wildlife Service.

Equitrans considered its legal options, but decided in the end to pursue new permits from those agencies.

“While we continue to believe that the Fourth Circuit Court’s opinions related to MVP’s forest crossing permit and biological opinion were wrong and represent a significant departure from traditional judicial deference, we are confident the agencies can and will produce even more comprehensive documentation to address the court’s concerns,” Equitrans CEO Thomas Karam said. “To reflect the time required for permit re-issuance and to ensure safe, responsible project construction, we have revised our MVP in-service target to the second half of 2023.”

For Q1 2022, Equitrans reported net income of $104.9mn, up from $76.6mn a year earlier, while adjusted EBITDA slipped to $276.9mn from $308.2mn.