Duke's Piedmont deal forces restructuring ownership of Atlantic Coast Pipeline

Dive Brief:

  • Duke Energy's bid to purchase Piedmont Natural Gas will force a restructuring of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP)'s ownership due to clauses that no party can own a majority stake and that Dominion must remain the lead owner, the Charlotte Business Journal reports. 
  • Duke, which owns 40% of the ACP, last month announced it would purchase Piedmont – and its 10% share of the pipeline – for $4.9 billion.
  • But company officials say Dominion, which currently owns 40% of the project, will remain the leading owner and will be responsible for constructing and operating the project.

Dive Insight:

Duke's announcement last month that it would purchase Piedmont Natural Gas has created a shakeup for the ACP project, but Charlotte Business Journal reports both of the large owners believe they can find a solution. 

Dominion spokesman Aaron Ruby told the news outlet that when the Duke-Piedmont deal closes, “Dominion intends to exercise provisions of the ACP partnership agreement that would allow the company to retain its leading ownership percentage."

Tony Williams, a Duke spokesman indicated the same, telling the Charlotte Business Journal that “the Duke-PNG deal will have no impact on the management or operation of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline ... Dominion will still be responsible for permitting, building and operating the pipeline, as well as owning the largest ownership percentage of ACP.”

Atlantic Coast Pipeline LLC, the combined group developing the project, filed plans for the 564-mile line in September. But the group has been facing opposition to some of its proposed route and filed proposed changes last week with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).

"We believe these route adjustments meet the project's critical need of supplying clean, inexpensive energy to public utility customers while protecting the environmental and cultural resources of communities along the route," said Diane Leopold, president of Dominion Energy, which is responsible for routing, building and operating the Atlantic Coast Pipeline pending FERC approval. "While the route adjustments themselves are minor, they reflect Atlantic's strong and sincere commitment to listening to project stakeholders at every stage and addressing their concerns to improve the proposed route."

The proposed adjustments would reduce impacts to wetland mitigation sites and historic districts as well as avoid the Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge.

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