The U.S. Department of Energy on Oct. 19 approved a November 2013 application from Emera CNG LLC for long-term, multi-contract authorization to export domestically produced compressed natural gas (CNG) in a volume equivalent to approximately 9.125 billion cubic feet per year (Bcf/yr) of natural gas, or 0.025 Bcf per day (Bcf/d).
Emera plans to export this CNG by vessel from a proposed natural gas compression and loading facility to be located at the Port of Palm Beach in Riviera Beach, Florida. Emera was approved for authority to export this CNG 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). DOE authorized the export of CNG in this order to non-FTA countries in a slightly lower volume than requested by Emera—2.92 Bcf/yr of natural gas, or 0.008 Bcf/d—in conformance with the maximum initial capacity of the proposed facility.
Emera is a wholly-owned indirect subsidiary of Canada-based Emera Inc., a publicly traded energy and services company that invests in electricity generation, transmission and distribution assets, as well as natural gas transmission and utility energy services assets.
The project will take gas off the Riviera Lateral, an intrastate pipeline owned and operated by Peninsula Pipeline Co. Inc. Emera Utility Services has exclusive negotiating rights to lease the site on which Emera intends to construct the facility. Emera expects construction of the facility to be completed in 2015.
Emera states that, to export the CNG, pressure vessels with an open ISO container frame will be filled with CNG under high pressure and loaded onto roll-on/roll-off ocean-going carriers or other waterborne vessels. Emera states that, although it seeks authorization to export CNG to any permitted non-FTA country, the primary purpose of the project is to fuel power generation facilities owned by an Emera affiliate, Grand Bahama Power Co. (GBPC), located on the island of Grand Bahama.
Emera expects that it will enter into a long-term contract to supply natural gas to GBPC, and that under the terms of such agreement, CNG from the facility will be transported approximately 75 nautical miles from the Port of Palm Beach to an unloading and decompression facility in Freeport, Grand Bahama.
Previously, DOE authorized Emera to export domestically produced CNG by vessel from the proposed facility to countries with which the United States has, or in the future enters into, a FTA, up to the equivalent of 9.125 Bcf/yr of natural gas (0.025 Bcf/d) for a 20-year term.
The proposed facility will consist of dehydration, compression, and filling equipment with nominal loading capacity of 0.025 Bcf/d of CNG, as well as staging and loading facilities for CNG trailers, associated utilities, infrastructure, and support systems.
Emera states that the facility initially will be capable of loading 0.008 Bcf/d of CNG (2.92 Bcf/yr). Once completed, the facility will be capable of expanding to load and deliver CNG in a volume equivalent to approximately 0.025 Bcf/d of natural gas (9.125 Bcf/yr), the requested export volume.