The WB XPress project is a proposed 28.9mi (46.5km) long pipeline to be built by Columbia Gas Transmission, a part of Columbia Pipeline Group, based in Texas.
The pipeline will support the transportation of natural gas from the Appalachian supply base to the Mid-Atlantic and Gulf Coast markets by enhancing the capacity of the interstate pipeline system in the region.
Columbia Gas Transmission filed an official application with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for the approval of the WB XPress Project in January 2016. Construction on the $850m project is expected to start in 2017 and is anticipated to be completed by the second quarter of 2018.
WB XPress project route
The pipeline sections to be laid in the West Virginia region will pass alongside the existing pipeline corridors through the Kanawha, Randolph, Pendleton, Braxton, Hardy and Upshur counties.
The segment to be built in the Virginia region will traverse through the Fairfax, Loudoun and Shenandoah counties.
WB XPress project details
The project is designed to transport approximately 1.3b cubic feet a day (bcf/d) of natural gas and provide a bi-directional transportation along Columbia’s existing WB natural gas pipeline to meet the increasing demand in northern Virginia and West Virginia.
The project will involve the replacement of 26mi (41.8km) of pipeline along the existing corridors and construction of 2.9mi (4.6km) of new pipeline in Virginia and West Virginia.
It also involves the construction of two new compressor stations and modifications to the existing compressor stations in Virginia and West Virginia.
The development of the WB XPress project would disturb approximately 257.6 acres of existing corridor and 36.3 acres of newly proposed permanent right-of-way, 97.1 acres of existing above-ground facilities and 16.7 acres of the proposed above-ground facilities.
Approximately 311.6 acres of access roads, temporary workspaces and staging areas are planned to be used during the construction phase and will be turned back to pre-construction condition after completion of the project.
WB XPress project construction in West Virginia region
The project will involve the replacement of 26mi of 26in diameter pipeline in Randolph and Pendleton Counties in the West Virginia region.
A new compressor station in the Kanawha County will be installed with two natural gas-driven units for increasing the horsepower of the compressors.
The four existing compressor stations in the West Virginia region, namely Cleveland compressor station in Upshur County, Files Creek compressor station in Randolph County, Seneca compressor station in Pendleton County and Lost River compressor station in Hardy County, will be installed with new piping and appurtenances to increase the horsepower.
New valves and launcher / receiver facilities will also be installed at the Frametown compressor station in Braxton County.
Other works will include modifications to Glady valve site in Randolph County, Dink valve site in Clay County, Whitmer and Smokehole valve sites in Pendleton County and Panther Mountain regulator station in Kanawha County.
The project will also include the installation of a new 0.3mi (500m)-long, 36in diameter pipeline from the new compressor station to the Panther Mountain Regulator Station in Kanawha County, and 0.6mi (900m)-long, 36in diameter pipeline from the new compressor station to receiver site in Kanawha County.
Construction in Virginia region
In the Virginia region, the project will involve the installation of approximately 2mi (3.2km) of 12in diameter pipeline incorporated with appurtenances and a new electric-driven compressor station in Fairfax County.
Strasburg compressor station in Shenandoah County and existing natural gas pipeline appurtenances at the Loudoun compressor station in Loudoun County will be modified under the project.
The project will also include modifications to the existing Dysart Valve Site in Shenandoah County and Nineveh Meter Station in Warren County.