One Plaquemines Parish LNG project advances, another stalls

Venture Global Plaquemines LNG LLC has received permission from the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to begin site clearing for its 20-million tonne/year (tpy) liquefaction plant about 20 miles south of New Orleans. FERC, however, cancelled review of Pointe LNG LLC’s proposed Plaquemines Parish, La., plant due to lack of progress in the 6-million tpy project’s prefiling process.

Plaquemines LNG last month requested FERC permission to begin clearing activities at the project site north of the levee and requested a response by Nov. 18, 2021. The areas to be cleared will be accessed by boat. Trees will be cut to within 6 in. of ground level, other vegetation will be cut flush with the ground, and limited grubbing will be performed as needed. Logs and other debris will be removed from the area by barge.

The company filed for permission to build Plaquemines LNG in February 2017 and received FERC authorization Sept. 30, 2019.

FERC terminated prefiling review of Pointe LNG “based on the lack of progress” in the process. The commission also said it will close the project’s administrative record. Pointe LNG’s September 2018 prefiling review request indicated that it planned to file the project application no later than November 2019. However, according to FERC, Pointe LNG repeatedly pushed back this filing date. The commission went on to say that Pointe LNG has not reported any forward progress since a July 2019 conference call with its staff. 

In its latest monthly status report, submitted Oct. 14, 2021, Pointe LNG said it “plans to reengage with federal and state agencies” in second-quarter 2022. According to FERC, however, the prefiling record indicates that Pointe LNG has not engaged any regulatory authorities or potentially affected stakeholders over the past 2 years, which is “one of the main intended purposes of the prefiling process.”

FERC said the dismissal was without prejudice to Pointe LNG filing a new prefiling request in the future if the project progresses to a point at which it could provide the resource reports and information needed to quantify potential environmental impacts and demonstrates an ability to make further progress in stakeholder engagement.