The Pacific Northwest needs new sources of natural gas. Canada, a traditional source of natural gas, is experiencing a decline in gas production while domestic demand for the energy source increases. Natural gas production in the U.S. Rocky Mountain region is steadily growing; however, existing and future pipeline capacity will ship most of the new Rockies production eastward rather than to the West Coast.
NorthernStar Natural Gas has proposed building the Bradwood Landing LNG terminal to help alleviate growing demand for natural gas in the Pacific Northwest. The import terminal, which would receive up to 1.3 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) of liquefied natural gas, would be built on an approximately 411-acre parcel of land on the southern shore of the Columbia River in Clatsop County, Ore. Located approximately 20 miles east of Astoria in an area that has long been a center of river commerce, the Bradwood, Ore., site is already zoned for marine industrial use.
The terminal facility would include the following components: a single marine berth for LNG tankers with capacities from 100,000-200,000 cubic meters; three unloading arms at berth to transfer LNG from carriers to storage tanks; a fourth vapor return arm to flow LNG vapor to tanker; two insulated LNG storage tanks (net tank capacity of 160,000 cubic meters); seven submerged combustion vaporizers to regasify natural gas for sendout and delivery into the pipeline system; and various buildings and systems for safety, security, control, storage, and maintenance.
The single berth would accommodate one to two ships per week. The storage tanks would use a "full containment" design, meaning that they would be double-walled: a reinforced concrete secondary tank would surround an inner nickel-steel tank. According to Bradwood Landing, full-containment tanks exceed federal requirements for LNG storage. In addition, Bradwood Landing is seeking permitting for a third storage tank should market demand ever justify one.
To get the regasified LNG to market, NorthernStar has proposed constructing, owning, and operating an approximately 36.3-mile-long pipeline from a pig-launching facility at the LNG terminal to an interconnection with Northwest Pipeline Corp.'s interstate system north of Kelso, Wash. The diameter of the "Bradwood Landing Pipeline" would be 36 inches for the first 18.9 miles and 30 inches for the remaining 17.4 miles.
Along the route, the pipeline would also interconnect with Northwest Natural Gas Company’s (NW Natural) intrastate pipeline system. The NW Natural interconnect would offer access to NW Natural’s Mist underground natural gas storage facility. In addition, it would have delivery points at Georgia-Pacific’s paper mill at Wauna, Ore., and Portland General Electric’s (PG) Beaver Power Plant at Port Westward, Ore. The transportation capacity at each delivery point would be up to 1,500 dekatherms per day.
No compression is planned for the proposed gas pipeline because the pressure of the natural gas existing at the terminal will be sufficient to overcome line losses and meet the proposed interconnection and delivery point requirements.
On Sept. 18, 2008, the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) approved a certificate order for Bradwood Landing, making the project the first U.S. West Coast LNG terminal to receive FERC approval.
Citing delays related to state and federal permitting as well as financing challenges, NorthernStar Natural Gas in early May 2010 announced that it was suspending -- but not terminating -- the project.