Construction Underway For Natural Gas Pipeline in Lee County

A 515-mile long natural gas pipeline is being built right now through Lee County.

The pipeline will transport natural gas from the Transco pipeline north of Alexander City. It then enters Lee County from Chambers County crossing Interstate 85 and continues into the Southeast Corridor into Russell County then across the Chattahoochee river into Georgia and will end in Central Florida.

The $3.2 billion pipeline is being built by a company called Sabal Trail Transmission.

Representatives from Sabal Trail Transmission said the Alabama portion of the pipeline is about 64% complete.

The natural gas will be used by Florida Power and Duke Energy of Florida.

“This is part of their modernization plan for electric generating facilities in Florida who formally used foreign fuel oils or coal or other energy sources other than natural gas. Natural gas is clean burning, efficient and it is a domestic supply so that was perfect planning for their facility,” said Andrea Grover, spokesperson for Sabal Trail Transmission.

They’ve been working on this project since 2013. But, got their permits last February from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commissions and then in August from the Army Corp of Engineers. They are also working with the Alabama department of Environmental Management. They then started construction in September.

And with the workers here in our community, Lee County has already noticed an economic impact, bigger than what they expected.

“When these people live here, they spend money,” said Oline Price, Lee County Revenue Commissioner.

Price said a lot of their campgrounds around the area are full with workers and their families from the project. An estimated $12 million injected into the Alabama  economy so far.

And once the pipeline is finished, Lee County will receive property tax revenue.

“Overall Alabama would get $3.2 million split among four counties based on the footprint in those counties,” said Grover.

Lee County alone will receive around $700,000 a year in taxes from that pipeline.

“Property taxes in Alabama, especially in Lee County they are good in helping schools. Half of our property taxes go to our schools, so our schools benefit from that,” said Price.

Sabal Trail Transmission projects to finish the pipeline by June 2017.

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