Occidental Petroleum's proposed Ingleside, TX, LNG terminal and associated San Patricio Pipeline were granted a favorable final environmental impact statement (FEIS) on Friday by FERC. The Commission said the 1 Bcf/d terminal, which would be located near Occidental's chemical plant on Corpus Christi Bay, would have limited adverse impact on the environment if certain recommended mitigating measures are taken by the company.
The project, which would be built in San Patricio and Nueces counties, TX, would include a new marine terminal basin connected to the La Quinta Channel with one protected berth to unload about 140 ships per year (two to three per week). It would include two storage tanks with working volume of 160,000 cubic meters, LNG vaporization equipment capable of vaporizing 1 Bcf/d of LNG, and 26 miles of 26-inch diameter pipeline with nine interconnections with existing interstate and intrastate pipelines north of Sinton, TX.
The project would be a massive undertaking, impacting nearly 490 acres of land and water. It also would be located about 1.2 miles west of existing residences in the City of Ingleside and two miles northwest of residences in the community of Ingleside on the Bay. The most prominent visual features would be the 178-foot above-ground storage tanks, which are 253 feet in diameter. The project also would be located within Texas' designated coastal zone management area. The Texas Railroad Commission has not yet issued a coastal zone consistency determination on the project.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) said some of the reason's supporting its decision include the following:
- Occidental's plan to use its own land adjacent to its existing chemical complex;
- the company's decision to reuse two million gallons of chemical plant wastewater each day in the vaporization process, which also would avoid the release of 300 tons of air emissions per year;
- the mitigation measures expected to be used to minimize impacts on soils, wetlands, and water bodies;
- the company's plan to dispose of dredged material on land owned by Alcoa Inc.;
- a proposed wetland mitigation plan;
- no impact on threatened or endangered species;
- the safety measures planned for the terminal and ship traffic; and
- the positive assessment by local shipping managers that there would be minimal impacts on shipping (3.5% increase in large vessel traffic).
Currently there are two other LNG terminals planned for the La Quinta Channel in the Corpus Christi Bay area: Cheniere Energy's Corpus Christi LNG project and ExxonMobil's Vista del Sol LNG terminal. Although these three LNG projects are on similar schedules, FERC is preparing separate EISs for each of the projects.
"The Commission does not consider these proposed facilities mutually exclusive alternatives to the Ingleside Energy Center LNG project," FERC said, but "rather as new sources that could help satisfy the increasing regional and national demand for natural gas."
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