STATUS: In progress with opposition
TYPE: Natural Gas
OPPOSITION: Environmental groups
BACKGROUND: Port Dolphin LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Höegh LNG AS, submitted an application in March 2007 for a license to construct and operate a liquefied natural gas (LNG) deepwater port 28 miles off the coast of Tampa, Florida, along with a subsea pipeline connecting the port to shore. Gas would be warmed from cold LNG to natural gas in two specially-designed regasifaction ships, which would then be unloaded at Port Dolphin and transmitted to shore. The port would eventually be capable of achieving an average throughput of 800 billion cubic feet of gas per day (bcf/d) and a peak capacity of approximately 1.2 billion bcf/d. The project will cost $1 billion to construct.
Environmental groups argued that the port would heavily impact fisheries and the pipeline will prevent significant recovery of sand needed to replenish beaches. On June 19, 2008, Port Dolphin officials re-routed the pipeline to address those concerns, but the groups argued that re-routing made no difference.
The project received approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in December 2009 and the Manatee County Port Authority in March 2010, and it received its federal deepwater port license in April 2010. Construction of Port Dolphin, which is estimated to take 22 months, is scheduled to begin at the end of the second quarter of 2012. Earlier plans had sought to have the project operational by 2013. Still, completion seems likely.
SOURCES: Port Dolphin official site: http://www.portdolphin.com/index.php;
Florida Department of Environmental Protection: http://www.dep.state.fl.us/cmp/links/files/currents_summer_2010.pdf;
Anna Maria Island Sun: http://www.amisun.com/pipeline.htm;
Oil & Gas Journal: http://www.ogj.com/index/article-display.articles.oil-gas-journal.transportation-2.lng.2010.03.manatee-county_approves.QP129867.dcmp=rss.page=1.html;
Downstream Today: http://www.downstreamtoday.com/projects/project.aspx?project_id=141;
The Islander: http://www.islander.org/6-25-08/pipeline_2.php
Last Updated: November 19, 2010