Equitrans Midstream Corporation (ETRN), the largest owner (48%) and operator of the still uncompleted Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP), announced on May 3 that the pipeline is not expected to be in operation until the “second half of 2023 at a total project cost of approximately $6.6 billion.” The delay is the result of several federal permits being invalidated by court decisions resulting from legal challenges by conservation groups. The new cost projection for the project is double what the company originally estimated when the MVP was first proposed some 8 years ago. At the end of 2021, ETRN was projecting the MVP would be operational in the summer of 2022.
ETRN continues to claim that total project work on the MVP is 94% complete, which by the company’s own data filings with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) is a gross exaggeration (click here for earlier ABRA Update story). The exaggeration is made more prominent given that the MVP must still cross some 180 streams and wetlands, meaning that the pipeline is at this point a series of unconnected sections of pipeline. While FERC agreed on April 8 to allow the project to bore under bodies of water and wetlands instead of the open-cut method that the project’s original certificate approved, that work remains to be done.