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TC Energy seeks US OK to put US-Mexico North Baja natgas pipe in service

FILE PHOTO: Illustration shows smartphone with TC Energy's logo displayed

(Reuters) - Canadian energy company TC Energy Corp's North Baja Pipeline LLC unit asked U.S. energy regulators on Thursday for permission to put parts of the North Baja natural gas pipeline expansion in Arizona and California into service.

The 0.495-billion cubic feet per day (bcfd) North Baja expansion will supply more U.S. natural gas to Mexico, including to U.S. energy company Sempra Energy's Costa Azul liquefied natural gas (LNG) export plant in Mexico, which is under construction.

The roughly $2 billion Costa Azul project on Mexico's Pacific Coast will be able to turn about 0.43 bcfd of gas into LNG once it enters service around mid 2025.

One billion cubic feet of gas can supply about 5 million U.S. homes for a day.

The North Baja expansion cost an estimated $127 million, according to U.S. energy data.

In its filing with the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), North Baja said FERC approved construction of the North Baja expansion in April 2022.

North Baja said it completed work on some facilities earlier this year and was now asking FERC for permission to put remaining facilities into service.

North Baja is a bidirectional pipeline that entered service in 2002. It can move gas from Arizona to California and Mexico and from Mexico to California and Arizona.

Before the 2023 upgrade, North Baja could move about 0.5 bcfd of gas south from Arizona to California and Mexico, and about 0.614 bcfd north from Mexico to California and up to 0.695 bcfd north from California to Arizona, according to federal energy data.

(Reporting by Scott DiSavino; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)