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Williams Partners Wins Local Support for Atlantic Sunrise


Williams Partners L.P. WPZ recently announced that its Atlantic Sunrise Expansion project is witnessing strong support from all segments of the society in Pennsylvania. The project eyes continuous growth and development of the state’s economy as well as strives to create thousands of jobs.

Atlantic Sunrise received a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in Feb 2017. The project can start providing benefits to Pennsylvania after the last of the remaining state permits required to begin construction are secured.

Construction on the Central Penn Line, the greenfield portion of the project, is anticipated to commence in the third quarter of 2017. This will enable the full project capacity to be brought online in mid-2018.

In 2015, Pennsylvania State University researchers estimated Atlantic Sunrise to directly and indirectly generate about 8,000 jobs in the 10 Pennsylvania counties during its construction phase. This is likely to result in an approximate $1.6 billion economic impact in the project area.

Recently, a petition signed by over 3,000 supporters was sent to Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf, demanding acceleration of the state regulatory approval for the project. Additionally, over 1,200 people and organizations submitted supportive comments to FERC during the public comment period.

Tulsa, OK-based Williams Partners is an MLP formed by Williams Companies, Inc. (WMB) to acquire, own, and operate a portion of its midstream assets. The partnership is involved in gathering, transporting, and processing natural gas as well as fractionating and storing NGL.

Williams Partners’ stock, however, shows weakness in its price chart. Units of the partnership have gained 2.3% in the last three months, while the Zacks categorized Exploration & Production – MLP Market registered an increase of 4.2%.

Williams Partners currently has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). Other stocks from the same space that warrant a look are SunCoke Energy, Inc. SXC, Exterran Corp. EXTN and Canadian Natural Resources Limited Ltd. CNQ. All these stocks sport a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

SunCoke Energy posted a positive earnings surprise of 120.0% in the preceding quarter. The company beat estimates in two of the four trailing quarters with an average negative earnings surprise of 35.78%.

Exterran posted a positive earnings surprise of 123.21% in the year-ago quarter.

Canadian Natural Resources posted a positive earnings surprise of 30.77% in the preceding quarter. It surpassed estimates in two of the four trailing quarters with an average negative earnings surprise of 275.46%.

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