FERC staff issues final EIS for Gulf Liquefaction LNG project

The proposed Gulf Liquefaction LNG Project would have some adverse environmental impacts which could be reduced to less-than-significant levels if recommended mitigation measures are implemented, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s staff said on Apr. 17 in a final environmental impact statement.

Apr 17th, 2019

The proposed Gulf Liquefaction LNG Project would have some adverse environmental impacts which could be reduced to less-than-significant levels if recommended mitigation measures are implemented, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s staff said on Apr. 17 in a final environmental impact statement.

The project would add liquefaction and export capacity to an existing LNG terminal in Jackson County, Miss. It would add new pre-treatment, liquefaction, and export facilities with a total capacity of up to 11.5 million tonnes/year, said its sponsor, Gulf LNG Holdings Group LLC.

This would allow the terminal to liquefy domestically produced natural gas delivered by pipeline, store the LNG in the terminal’s existing storage tanks, and load it into LNG vessels via the terminal’s existing marine jetty, it indicated.

The terminal would retain its capability to receive, store, regasify, and deliver gas into the interstate pipeline system as originally constructed, thereby making the Gulf LNG Terminal bi-directional, Gulf LNG Holdings said.

The terminal and its associated pipelines, storage tanks, and vessel berths are 50% owned by Southern Gulf LNG Co. LLC, an indirect subsidiary of Kinder Morgan Inc. and the installation’s operator. Another 30% is held by Thunderbird LNG LLC, which is partially held by Blackstone Group subsidiary GSO Capital Partners. The remaining 20% is held nearly equally by subsidiaries of Arc Logistics Partners LP and Lightfoot Capital Partners LP.

FERC’s staff said that it based its conclusion that the project’s potentially adverse environmental impacts could be managed because of several factors, including:

  • The terminal expansion facilities would be additions to an existing, operating LNG import terminal with existing storage tanks and berthing and loading/unloading facilities.
  • Gulf LNG would restore wetlands following construction, and its wetland mitigation plan would address additional environmental impacts.
  • US Department of Transportation siting requirements for the project, US Coast Guard recommendations for associated marine traffic, the FERC staff’s preliminary engineering review and recommendations for the project, and the regulatory requirements for the project and associated pipelines would avoid a significant increase in public safety risks.
  • Gulf LNG would implement its project-specific Upland Erosion Control, Revegetation, and Maintenance Plan and its project-specific Wetland and Waterbody Construction and Mitigation Procedures to minimize construction impacts on soils, wetlands, and water bodies.
  • The project is not likely to adversely affect any species listed under the Endangered Species Act, would not contribute to a trend toward federal listing for any federally or state-listed threatened or endangered species, or have a substantial adverse impact on essential fish habitat.
  • The project would have no effect on cultural resources.
  • All appropriate consultations with the US Fish and Wildlife Service; National Marine Fisheries Service; the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fish and Parks; and the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources would be completed before construction begins.
  • And FERC’s environmental and engineering inspection and mitigation monitoring program for the project would ensure compliance with all mitigation measures and conditions of any FERC authorization.

FERC’s staff also developed site-specific mitigation measures which Gulf LNG should implement to reduce the environmental impacts that would otherwise result from the project’s construction. Commissioners will take all of the recommendations into consideration when they reach a decision on the project.

Contact Nick Snow at nicks@pennwell.com

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