The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) on Thursday approved four new or expanded natural gas facilities, including a new liquefied natural gas terminal (LNG) that will provide more than 2 billion cubic feet (Bcf) of natural gas per day to supply rising U.S. consumer demand.
FERC granted authorization for a new LNG terminal, pipeline and other related facilities proposed by Calhoun LNG at Port Lavaca in Calhoun County, Texas, and approved the expansion of the existing Elba Island LNG facility near Savannah, Georgia.
"A robust energy infrastructure can provide reliability of supply at lower prices," Commission Chairman Joseph T. Kelliher said. "A weak infrastructure can result in higher prices, greater price volatility, lower supply reliability, and less effective competition. Today, we take a series of actions to strengthen our natural gas infrastructure."
Summaries of the proposals follow:
Calhoun LNG L.P. (Docket No. CP05-91-000) and Point Comfort Pipeline Company, L.P. (CP05-380-000, CP05-381-000, and CP05-382-000).
FERC granted authority to Calhoun LNG to construct and operate an onshore LNG import terminal that will have a send-out capacity of 1 Bcf per day.
The company's affiliate, Point Comfort Pipeline, also is authorized to construct and operate nearly 27.1 miles of new 36-inch diameter pipeline to transport the 1 Bcf of gas per day from the Calhoun LNG terminal to local and interstate markets including Formosa Hydrocarbons Company and Formosa Plastics Company, four intrastate pipelines and five interstate pipelines including Florida Gas Transmission Company, Gulf South Pipeline Company, L.P., Natural Gas Pipeline Company of America, Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Corp and Tennessee Natural Gas Company. The pipeline would end at a connection with Tennessee Gas approximately three miles southwest of the Town of Edna in Jackson County, Texas.
The pipeline project is estimated to cost $62.6 million. The Commission ordered the Calhoun LNG and Port Comfort pipeline projects to be completed and ready for service within five years after its authorization order.
Southern LNG, Inc. (CP06-470-000), Elba Express Company, L.L.C. (Docket No. CP06-471-000, -001, CP06-472-000, -001; CP06-473-000, -001), and Southern Natural Gas Company (CP06-474-000, -001).
The Commission authorized Southern LNG to increase in two construction phases the storage capacity of the Elba Island LNG import terminal by 8.44 Bcf and increase its vaporization capacity by 900 million cubic feet (MMcf) of gas per day. The expanded facilities will provide service to Shell NA LNG LLC and BG LNG Services, LLV.
Among the facilities in Phase A, Southern LNG proposes to construct and operate a new 200,000 cubic meter (1.25 million barrels) tank having a storage capacity of 4.22 Bcf of LNG. The company also seeks to modify the existing unloading docks to accommodate larger LNG tankers and to facilitate the simultaneous unloading of two LNG ships. Southern LNG proposes to have the Phase A facilities available for service by June 1, 2010.
In Phase B, Southern LNG proposes to construct an additional 200,000 cubic meter tank (or 1.25 million barrels) with a storage capacity of the remaining 4.22 Bcf of gas per day and install submerged combustion vaporizers with the capability of providing firm send-out capacity of 495 MMcf per day. Southern plans to place the Phase B facilities in service by December 31, 2012. Both Phase A and Phase B facilities will cost an estimated $509.2 million.
The Commission also granted authority to Elba Express to construct and operate a new 36-inch diameter and 42-inch diameter pipeline extending from Port Wentworth, Ga. to interconnections with the interstate pipeline facilities of Transco in Georgia and South Carolina.
Elba Express also is authorized to construct and operate a new 10,000 horsepower (HP) compressor station in Jenkins County, Ga., to provide up to 1,175 MMcf per day of firm transportation from the Elba Island LNG terminal to interconnections to Transco's pipeline system.
The Commission granted Southern Natural authority to transfer to Elba Express an undivided ownership interest of a volume equal to 1, 175 MMcf per day in Southern's Twin 30s Pipeline facilities which extend from the Elba Island LNG terminal to an interconnection with Southern's pipeline system in Port Wentworth, Ga.
The Commission conditionally authorized Southern to acquire an additional undivided interest in Elba Express' proposed pipeline facilities from Port Wentworth to Rincon, Ga., equal to 500 MMcf per day. The authorization applies only if Southern proceeds with its Phase III Cypress Express Project and modifies the proposal to reflect certain facility modifications required by the Commission's order.
If Southern decides not to proceed with the Cypress Pipeline expansion project, the Commission conditionally authorized Southern to acquire an undivided ownership interest in Elba Express' proposed pipeline facilities that would extend from Port Wentworth to Wrens, Georgia, equal to 55 MMcf per day.
The Commission adopted FERC staff recommendations to mitigate potential adverse environmental, safety and security concerns, and will impose several conditions on the approved projects.