Curtis Tate Published

Mountain Valley Pipeline Delayed Again, Cost Rises To $7.7 Billion

An aerial photo of the Mountain Valley Pipeline. The unfinished project is seen in a trench in the middle of a green forest.
An aerial photo of the Mountain Valley Pipeline.
Mountain Valley Watchers

Equitrans Midstream, the builder of the Mountain Valley Pipeline, said Tuesday that challenging winter weather in January has delayed the project’s completion to the second quarter of the year.

The delays have also boosted the projected cost to nearly $7.7 billion from $7.2 billion.

In the company’s fourth quarter earnings presentation, President and CEO Diana Charletta said construction made good progress in the final months of 2023, but slowed down in January.

“Along with unforeseen construction challenges, throughout much of January, construction crews encountered adverse weather conditions, including precipitation well above 20-year averages,” she said. “While our construction plans took into account the potential effects of winter weather, these conditions were far worse and longer in duration than anticipated, imposing a significant impact on productivity, which, in turn, impeded our ability to reduce construction headcount. Collectively, these factors resulted in our updated timing and total project cost targets.”

The 303-mile, 42-inch pipeline is expected to transport as much as 2 billion cubic feet of gas per day from north central West Virginia to southern Virginia.

It faced many court challenges over the past several years from landowners and environmental groups. The project has been delayed multiple times.

Congress mandated its completion last year as part of the Fiscal Responsibility Act. It is a top priority for the state’s elected leaders and the gas industry.