The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Aug. 7 put out for comment a draft environmental impact statement on an LNG import project in Puerto Rico that would allow a refueling of a big Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority plant.
Aguirre Offshore GasPort LLC is developing the liquefied natural gas (LNG) import project in cooperation with the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA) for the purpose of receiving, storing, and regasifying the LNG for eventual delivery to PREPA’s existing Aguirre Power Complex (Aguirre Plant) in Salinas on the island’s south shore.
“The project will help diversify Puerto Rico’s energy sources, allow the Aguirre Plant to meet the EPA’s Mercury and Air Toxics Standards rule, reduce fuel oil barge traffic in Jobos Bay, and contribute to price stabilization for power in the region,” FERC noted.
The draft EIS addresses the potential environmental effects of the construction and operation of the following project facilities:
- an offshore berthing platform;
- an offshore marine LNG receiving facility;
- a Floating Storage and Regasification Unit moored at the offshore berthing platform; and
- a 4.1-mile-long subsea pipeline connecting the Offshore GasPort to the Aguirre Plant.
Aguirre Offshore is proposing to place the LNG project facilities in service in 2016.
The Aguirre Plant is PREPA’s largest power facility with an installed generation capacity of 1,492 MW, which represents approximately one-third of Puerto Rico’s total installed generating capacity. The LNG project would have sendout capacity of 50 million standard cubic feet per day (MMscf/d) to the Aguirre Plant.
PREPA developed the Aguirre Plant from 1972 to 1977 to generate electricity using No. 2 oil and No. 6 oil with twelve fuel combustion sources located in three plant areas, including a combined cycle power plant, a steam power plant, and a simple cycle power block. In response to the new EPA MATS rule, and to the Puerto Rico government’s policy to promote the use of natural gas to lower energy costs and reduce Puerto Rico’s carbon footprint, PREPA is planning to provide the capability to burn natural gas in both the two-unit, 900-MW steam power plant (AG 1 and 2) and the two-unit, 600-MW combined cycle power plant (CC 1 and 2) at the Aguirre Plant.
The two-unit steam plant consists of two boilers and two steam generators, and the two-unit combined cycle power plant consists of eight combustion turbines and two steam generators. The schedule for the modifications to the steam power plant would coincide with the completion of the proposed LNG project.