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Sunoco delays Mariner East 2 pipeline, citing permit issues

A sign marks a water crossing on land in Huntingdon County where Sunoco wants to build the Mariner East 2 pipeline. Although Sunoco still has to acquire water crossing and earth moving permits, the company has already cleared the area of trees.

Susan Phillips / StateImpact Pennsylvania

A sign marks a water crossing on land in Huntingdon County where Sunoco wants to build the Mariner East 2 pipeline.

Sunoco Logistics is pushing back the start date for its Mariner East 2 pipeline, the company said Thursday in an earnings call.

Sunoco chief executive Michael Hennigan blames the delay on problems getting permits from the state Department of Environmental Protection. The 300 mile line is planned to carry natural gas liquids across 17 counties, from western Pennsylvania to a terminal outside Philadelphia, where it will be exported to Europe.

In September DEP sent Sunoco deficiency letters, outlining hundreds of issues with its plans for protecting the environment along the pipeline route. The project requires state approval for erosion and sedimentation controls and waterway crossings before the pipeline can be installed.

“It’s a time-consuming task, given the number of maps and diagrams,” said Hennigan. “But we need to go through that.”

The Mariner East 2 (ME2) line would largely parallel the existing Mariner East 1 line, which began shipping propane at the end of 2014. The ME2 was originally planned to come online by the end of this year, and a previously delay pushed it’s start date to mid-2017. The new delay pushes it back further to the third quarter of 2017.

 

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