Alabama governor approves offshore LNG terminal

Alabama Gov. Bob Riley approved the deepwater port application from TORP Terminal LP for a license to construct, own, and operate the Bienville Offshore Energy Terminal.

Sep 16th, 2010

Warren R. True
Chief Technology Editor-LNG/Gas Processing

HOUSTON, Sept. 16 -- Alabama Gov. Bob Riley approved the deepwater port application from TORP Terminal LP for a license to construct, own, and operate the Bienville Offshore Energy Terminal.

The regasification terminal is to be located in the Gulf of Mexico, 63 miles south of Dauphin Island in 425 ft of water and employ closed-loop ambient air vaporization. The terminal will also use a proprietary regasification and offshore loading technology, called HiLoad, owned by TORP LNG AS of Norway and a floating regas ship with no permanent offshore structures.

The HiLoad technology employs a floating L-shaped structure that docks onto LNG carriers with a patented friction-based attachment system creating no relative motion between the carrier and the structure, according to a company announcement. The facility is equipped with standard regasification equipment, said the announcement, and can accommodate any LNG carrier without the use of special equipment aboard the carrier.

TORP Terminal Chief Executive Officer Joseph P. Berno, in response to OGJ questions, said TORP still requires a license from the US Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration to “own, construct, and operate” the Bienville terminal as well as “all applicable permits” from the US Environmental Protection Agency and state agencies to construct and operate the terminal.

“Requirements for these vary by permit type and they will be obtained at the appropriate time as we get closer to those activities,” said Berno. The company expects to begin operating the terminal “sometime in 2015,” he said, adding that no fabrication contracts have been awarded.

Contact Warren R. True at warrent@ogjonline.com.

More in LNG