FERC releases final enviro review on Magnolia LNG project in Louisiana

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Nov. 13 issued a final environmental impact statement (EIS) for the Magnolia LNG Project proposed by Magnolia LNG LLC and the Lake Charles Expansion Project proposed by Kinder Morgan Louisiana Pipeline LLC.

The Magnolia LNG Project would include construction and operation of a liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal that would include various liquefaction, LNG distribution, and appurtenant facilities. The Lake Charles Expansion Project would include reconfiguration of Kinder Morgan’s existing pipeline system in order to accommodate Magnolia’s request for natural gas service at the LNG terminal site. The projects would provide an LNG export capacity of 1.08 billion cubic feet per day of natural gas.

In the final EIS, the FERC staff concludes that approval of the proposed projects would result in adverse environmental impacts; however, these impacts would be reduced to less-than-significant levels with the implementation of Magnolia’s and Kinder Morgan’s proposed mitigation and the additional measures recommended in the final EIS.

The new LNG terminal includes four liquefaction trains, two LNG storage tanks, liquefaction and refrigerant units, safety and control systems, and associated infrastructure. Other elements of the project include:

  • LNG truck loading facilities;
  • LNG carrier and barge loading facilities;
  • one new meter station;
  • one new 32,000 horsepower compressor station;
  • approximately 40 feet of 36-inch-diameter feed gas line to supply natural gas to the LNG terminal from Kinder Morgan’s existing natural gas transmission pipeline;
  • a new 1.2-mile-long, 36-inch-diameter low pressure natural gas header pipeline;
  • a new 700-foot-long, 24-inch-diameter high pressure natural gas header pipeline;
  • modifications at six existing meter stations; and
  • construction of miscellaneous auxiliary and appurtenant facilities.

In April 2014, Magnolia LNG filed an application with FERC requesting authorization to site, construct, and operate facilities necessary to liquefy natural gas at a proposed site in Lake Charles, Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana. Magnolia’s proposed project is referred to as the Magnolia LNG Project.

In June 2014, Kinder Morgan Louisiana Pipeline (KMLP) filed an application with the FERC for a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity covering authorization to construct and operate system modifications that would allow the delivery of natural gas to Magnolia’s proposed LNG terminal using a new north-to-south path on KMLP’s existing system. The proposed system modifications would be within Acadia, Calcasieu, and Evangeline parishes, Louisiana. KMLP’s proposed project is referred to as the Lake Charles Expansion Project.

FERC is the lead agency for the preparation of the final EIS. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Department of Energy, U.S. Department of Transportation and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency are participating in this National Environmental Policy Act review as cooperating agencies.

Subject to the receipt of FERC authorization and all other applicable permits, authorizations, and approvals, Magnolia anticipates starting construction of the LNG terminal in early 2016, and placing the first liquefaction train into service in December 2018. The remaining three liquefaction trains would be commissioned at three-month intervals after completion of the first liquefaction train, with full service anticipated after a total construction period of 45 months.

KMLP would construct its proposed facilities over an 11-month period, which is tentatively scheduled to begin in January 2017; these facilities would be in-service prior to startup of the first liquefaction train. The projects would serve the domestic and export markets for LNG, and the Magnolia LNG Project would have the capacity to export an LNG volume equivalent to 1.08 billion cubic feet per day.

The following non-jurisdictional actions were identified in association with the projects:

  • LNG trucking, domestic marine distribution, and LNG bunkering activities that would take place after the LNG truck or LNG vessel has departed from the LNG terminal;
  • construction of a tie-in to Calcasieu Parish District 12 Water Works’ potable water line within the LNG terminal site;
  • construction of an electric transmission line and switching station to extend power from Entergy Gulf States Louisiana LLC’s existing system to the LNG terminal; and
  • construction of an electric transmission line to extend power from Cleco Corp.‘s existing system to Compressor Station 760.
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.