Williams Co (WMB) has revealed that it will not refile an application for its $1 billion pipeline that would have provided 400,000 dekatherms per day of incremental natural gas capacity to National Grid for customers in Brooklyn, Queens, and Long Island.
“While we continue to believe in the fundamentals of this project, we will not refile in New Jersey or New York at this time,’’ said Laura Creekmur, spokesperson for Williams, in a statement.
Following a previous denial last year, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation again denied the application for the Northeast Supply Enhancement project based on the company’s inability to demonstrate compliance with water quality standards.
Along with other components located in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, the project would have involved the installation of approximately 17.4 miles of 26-inch diameter natural gas loop pipeline within New York State waters, to be known as the Raritan Bay Loop.
According to the Department the project would have caused “significant water quality impacts from the resuspension of sediments and other contaminants, including mercury and copper” which would be especially problematic within Raritan Bay- a known sensitive habitat and critical resource area.
“The decision to pause this important infrastructure project is unfortunate for the region as the design and construction would have generated valuable economic activity in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York, and would have directly and indirectly supported more than 3,000 jobs during the construction period,’’ Creekmur said.
Nonetheless, Williams maintains a firmly bullish Strong Buy Street consensus, with 12 recent buy ratings vs just 2 hold ratings. The average analyst price target stands at $22 (18% upside potential). Shares in WMB have plunged 21% on a year-to-date basis. (See WMB stock analysis on TipRanks).
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