STATUS: In progress
TYPE: Natural Gas
OPPOSITION: Environmental groups, local residents
BACKGROUND: Freeport LNG Development, L.P., owns and operates a liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal on Quintana Island, Texas. The existing terminal has a sendout capacity of 1.75 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day (bcf/d). The project’s expansion would increas total sendout capacity to 4.0 bcf/d. It also would have removed an abandoned barge dock, dredged a second ship berth, expanded the existing vaporization facilities and utility systems to accommodate increased terminal capacity, and added a third LNG tank to the facility. The expansion was fully permitted, but construction was not begun due to market conditions.
Opposition to the project has been lower than most other LNG projects across the nation, perhaps due to the existing LNG facility on Quintana Island or a greater level of comfort with the energy industry in Texas. Still, some residents oppose Freeport LNG due to risk of explosions, proximity to local beaches and impact on property values.
On November 22, 2010, Freeport LNG announced that it was foregoing the expansion plans and instead develop liquefaction capacity at the site for export, rather than add import capabilities. The proposed liquefaction facility will be capable of liquefying up to 1.4 bcf/d of natural gas and, together with the existing site, will create a bi-directional import/export LNG terminal.
Freeport LNG expects to file for an export license with the Department of Energy in December and shortly thereafter start the approval process with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Freeport LNG believes the expansion can be operational by early 2015.
SOURCES: Freeport LNG (http://www.freeportlng.com/);
Downstream Today (http://www.downstreamtoday.com/projects/project.aspx?project_id=63);
Sierra Club (http://louisiana.sierraclub.org/lng.asp);
Houston Press (http://www.houstonpress.com/content/printVersion/230341/)
Last Updated: December 1, 2010