Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Congeneration Plant Switches Gas Service

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Congeneration Plant Switches Gas Service

Article excerpt

Journal Record Staff Reporter The natural gas feeding PowerSmith Cogeneration's 110-megawatt plant on S. Council Rd. will switch its gas service today from Oklahoma Natural Gas Co. to Williams Natural Gas Co.

Smith has a 15-year contract to receive natural gas from ONG, which is the state's largest natural gas utility and a division of Tulsa-based ONEOK Inc.

But multiple legal disputes over who can supply natural gas to the plant have wound up in federal court as a state versus federal jurisdiction issue. ONG has alleged Williams must have a franchise before it can compete with ONG for the chance to sell gas to Smith.

Williams said it is an interstate natural gas pipeline and is regulated by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. If that is the case, Williams would not need to obtain a franchise to transport natural gas through its pipeline to the Smith plant at 2608 S. Council Rd. in Oklahoma City.

Smith built the cogeneration plant adjacent to Firestone Tire & Rubber Co. in southwest Oklahoma City to supply steam for curing tires.

The U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled Williams' certificate to serve the plant, issued by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, remains valid while the federal agency tried to determine its authority to rule on the issue.

Smith's decision to receive its natural gas from Williams, the original contract winner, reflects its opinion that the case was resolved with the appeals court deciding the companies must abide by their original contracts. A year ago, Smith agreed to use ONG's pipeline system, which would move 24 million cubic feet of natural gas daily to the Smith plant, until Williams' court appeals were completed. …

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