(Reuters) - New construction on the Mariner East pipeline project is being temporarily suspended after Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf ordered all “non-life-sustaining businesses” in the state shut down as coronavirus cases continue to rise, Energy Transfer said on Friday.
The pipeline system and facilities in service have been deemed “life-saving” and ongoing work on the existing lines of Mariner East will continue, Energy Transfer said.
“We are working to safely comply with the Governor’s order regarding the temporary suspension of our ongoing construction activities,” a company spokesperson said in an emailed statement.
The governor issued the order on Thursday.
Energy Transfer is working with state regulators within an exemption process outlined by the administration giving it time to safely suspend active construction over a reasonable period of time, given that some activities have a longer shut-down process, the spokesperson added.
The company did not respond to comment on whether the Mariner East 2X pipeline is on track to be completed by mid-2020 as formerly announced. Once complete the pipeline will add another 250,000 barrels per day to the Mariner East system.
Earlier this week Royal Dutch Shell Plc said it will temporarily suspend construction activities on a multi-billion-dollar ethane cracker being constructed along the Ohio River in Beaver County, Pennsylvania, amid concerns about the coronavirus spreading.
Local officials had called for construction to be stopped to limit the potential spread of the novel coronavirus, due to the large number of workers on the project.
Reporting by Laura Sanicola; Additional reporting by Scott DiSavino; Editing by Leslie Adler