DOE seeks comment on Downeast LNG export application

The Office of Fossil Energy (FE) at the Department of Energy (DOE) has gotten an October 2014 application from Downeast LNG Inc. for long-term, multi-contract authorization to export domestically produced natural gas in a volume equivalent to approximately 168 billion cubic feet (Bcf) per year, or approximately 0.46 Bcf per day.

The company is seeking authorization to export the natural gas as liquefied natural gas (LNG) by vessel from its proposed LNG terminal to be located in Robbinston, Maine, referred to as the Downeast LNG Import-Export Project, said the Energy Dept. in a notice to be published in the March 16 Federal Register.

Downeast LNG (DELNG) requests authorization to export LNG to any country with which the United States does not have a free trade agreement (FTA) requiring national treatment for trade in natural gas and with which trade is not prohibited by U.S. law or policy (non-FTA countries). It requests this non-FTA export authorization for a 20-year term to commence on the earlier of the date of first export or eight years from the date the authorization is granted. The company requests this authorization both on its own behalf and as agent for other entities who hold title to the LNG at the time of export.

Protests, motions to intervene or notices of intervention, as applicable, requests for additional procedures, and written comments are to be filed no later than 4:30 p.m., Eastern time, 60 days after the March 16 publication in the Federal Register.

The DELNG Project is being developed by DELNG, together with Downeast Liquefaction LLC and Downeast Pipeline LLC, at the same general locations proposed for the previously-reviewed DELNG import terminal and associated pipeline for which DELNG and Downeast Pipeline have sought authorization from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

The DELNG Project’s LNG import-export terminal (the “DELNG Terminal”) has been designed to produce approximately 173 MMBtu per year of LNG. In addition, the DELNG Terminal design includes a small amount (approximately 100,000 Btu per day) of LNG regasification capacity. The DELNG Project’s natural gas pipeline is comprised of an approximately 29- mile-long, 24-inch-diameter pipeline to be located wholly within Washington County, Maine. The pipeline has been designed to transport natural gas to the DELNG Terminal for liquefaction and export, and may be used to transport regasified LNG from the DELNG Terminal.

DELNG proposes to source feedstock natural gas from U.S. and Canadian gas fields via the interstate pipeline system. The DELNG Project will interconnect with the Maritimes and Northeast Pipeline (M&NP), which in turn interconnects with Portland Natural Gas Transmission System (PNGTS), Algonquin Gas Transmission System (AGT), and the Tennessee Gas Pipeline (TGP). Each of these three pipelines provides a distinct route to access eastern gas fields that the DELNG Project could use to source gas. Given regional demand, Kinder Morgan (the owner of TGP), Spectra (the owner of the AGT and partial owner of M&NP), and TransCanada (the owner of PNGTS), have each separately proposed capacity expansions for their existing system, or greenfield builds that would supply the region.  

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.