Golden Pass pushes FERC for more speed in its review of LNG, pipeline projects

Golden Pass Products LLC in a June 17 letter urged the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to make an expedited decision on its July 2014 application for authorization to site, construct and operate liquefied natural gas (LNG) export and import facilities (called the “GPP Terminal”).

Also in July 2014, Golden Pass Pipeline LLC filed with the commission an application authorizing the construction and operation of an expansion to its existing pipeline system (the “GPPL Pipeline”) to transport natural gas to the GPP Terminal.

Prior to filing the formal applications, the Golden Pass companies participated in a pre-filing review before the commission that was initiated in May 2013.

“The Golden Pass Project has thus been pending before the Commission for more than two years,” the companies said in the June 17 letter. “This proposed $10 billion Project will generate thousands of direct and indirect jobs and more than $30 billion in economic activity in Texas and across the country. This Project also builds upon the significant continuing investment and employment associated with the existing world-class Golden Pass import terminal and pipeline facilities.

“The timely completion of the FERC process is required to unlock this economic opportunity for the nation. In our applications, Golden Pass requested that the Commission issue final authorization for construction of the Project facilities by July 1, 2015. The deadline was established to meet the critical timelines required to support project development in a highly competitive environment. Unfortunately, at this time it does not appear that the Commission is on target to meet that date; in fact, after more than two years in the FERC process, the Commission has yet to even issue a Notice of Schedule for Environmental Review for the project, a necessary prerequisite to the preparation of both a draft environmental impact statement and a final environmental impact statement.

“Golden Pass is mindful of the complexity of the permitting effort and appreciates the work of the Commission’s staff to date. Of note, Golden Pass has provided responses to over 500 data requests over the past year, and we believe that the record is now sufficiently developed and readily supports the issuance of a Notice of Schedule and ultimately the issuance of an order approving the Project. Golden Pass is concerned that further delays to the permitting review process and to the issuance of the authorization will jeopardize the project startup as set forth in the applications.

“Prompt completion of the permitting process is critical to the Project’s success. Any unwarranted and unnecessary delay will hinder Golden Pass from unlocking the tremendous economic benefits this Project will create and risks placing the Project at a competitive disadvantage in the global LNG market. In light of this, Golden Pass respectfully requests that the Commission issue the Notice of Schedule For Environmental Review by June 30, issue a Final Environmental Impact Statement by December 2015, and issue an order authorizing the Project in the 1Q2016.”

These companies on Feb. 19 had filed with FERC a copy of an October 2014 greenhouse gas air permit application for the project that had been submitted to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. Golden Pass Products and Golden Pass Pipeline are proposing to site, construct, and operate LNG export facilities along with associated new compression and pipeline facilities. The facilities include:

  • Liquefaction facilities to be constructed adjacent to Golden Pass LNG Terminal LLC’s (GPLNG) existing import terminal located onshore along the Sabine‐Neches Waterway (SNWW) in Jefferson County, Texas; and
  • a new compressor station (MP 1 Compressor Station) to be located near the interconnection with Natural Gas Pipeline Co. of America’s (NGPL) pipeline. The compressor station will be adjacent to the existing GP Pipeline in the southwest corner of the GPLNG Terminal site in Jefferson County.

The terminal will have an export capacity of 15.6 million tonnes per annum (MTA) of LNG. This terminal will consist of a natural gas pre‐treatment system, a liquefaction unit, and utilities and other supporting facilities.

Power will be generated utilizing high pressure (HP) steam to drive steam turbine generators (STGs). Three STGs will be located, one in each train, and use HP steam by expanding it to very low pressure steam to generate electric power. The exhaust from the STG will be condensed via a surface condenser and the condensate pumped to the recovered condensate tank. The power generation capacity of each STG is expected to be about 100 MW. The liquefaction facility internal power grid will be connected to the utility power grid (Entergy) for back‐up power demand in case of a trip of an individual STG as well as for startup power demand. For each of the three trains, the refrigeration power for the propane and mixed refrigerant compressors are to be provided by two mechanical drive General Electric Frame 7 gas turbines, each of which is assisted by electric helper motors.

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.