It’s hard to miss for those who have driven S.H. 48 in the vicinity of the Brownsville Ship Channel during the past several months: Valley Crossing Pipeline, currently under construction to supply fracked natural gas to Mexico from the Eagle Ford Shale oil fields in Central Texas.

It’s hard to miss for those who have driven S.H. 48 in the vicinity of the Brownsville Ship Channel during the past several months: Valley Crossing Pipeline, currently under construction to supply fracked natural gas to Mexico from the Eagle Ford Shale oil fields in Central Texas.

The $1.5 billion pipeline, being built by VCP parent company Enbridge Inc., is not related to liquefied natural gas projects proposed for the Port of Brownsville. Rather, it’s being built to supply Mexican power plants as that country transitions from coal and imported LNG in the wake of sweeping energy reforms. The pipeline will receive gas from the Agua Dulce gas hub in NuecesCounty.

CFE, Mexico’s state-owned electric utility, awarded the pipeline construction contract to VCP in June 2016, and construction began last April. The 168-mile-long, 42-inch-wide pipeline is expected to be in service by October 2018, with a capacity of up to 2.6 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day, according to Enbridge spokesman Devin Hotzel, who responded to questions via email.

“To date, we have constructed and buried over 100 miles of pipeline,” he said. “Restoration of the surface has been completed through approximately 50 miles of that length. Construction activities will continue into the second quarter of 2018 before the construction in the (Rio GrandeValley) segment is complete.”

sclark@brownsvilleherald.com

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