FERC issues enviro review on expansion of Cameron LNG facility in Louisiana

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Feb. 12 released an environmental assessment covering a September 2015 application from Cameron LNG LLC for authorization to expand its existing liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal in Cameron and Calcasieu parishes, Louisiana.

The Expansion Project would increase the terminal’s capability to liquefy natural gas for export by 515 billion cubic feet per year, equivalent to 9.97 million metric tonnes per year (Mtpy). The project would increase the terminal’s total liquefaction capacity from 14.95 million Mtpy to 24.92 million Mtpy.

The U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Department of Transportation were cooperating agencies in the preparation of this EA. This EA is an integral part of the commission’s decision on whether to issue Cameron LNG authorization to construct and operate these facilities.

The Cameron LNG Expansion Project facilities would receive natural gas via existing natural gas pipelines at the LNG Terminal and pipelines being constructed as part of the Liquefaction Project. The natural gas would be pre-treated to remove contaminants (mercury, hydrogen sulfide, carbon dioxide, water) and heavy hydrocarbons then liquefied using liquefaction units. The liquefied gas would be stored as LNG in a new LNG storage tank or sent to existing LNG storage tanks. The LNG would be transferred from the new and existing LNG storage tanks and would be loaded onto ships berthed at the terminal’s existing marine facility.

The Expansion Project includes the following key facilities:

  • two liquefaction trains (Trains 4 and 5) each with a maximum LNG production capacity of 4.985 million Mtpy (9.97 Mtpy total). Each liquefaction train would be composed of a feed gas treatment unit consisting of a mercury adsorber; hydrogen sulfide scavenger bed to remove hydrogen sulfide; amine unit to remove carbon dioxide; a dehydration unit to remove water; a heavy hydrocarbon removal unit to remove isopentane and heavier hydrocarbons and a liquefaction unit consisting of main cryogenic heat exchanger, refrigeration system and end flash drum;
  • one 160,000 cubic meter (m3 ) full containment LNG storage tank;
  • two new boil-off gas (BOG) compressor units to compress BOG and deliver as fuel to gas turbine;
  • three 2.5-MW diesel-powered standby generators; and
  • one 54,100 gallon capacity diesel storage tank containment.

The new facilities proposed in the Expansion Project would be consistent with the existing LNG Terminal and Liquefaction Project facilities and would replicate the design of liquefaction Trains 1, 2, and 3 that are currently under construction and the existing LNG storage tanks. The condensate storage tanks would also be identical to those previously approved. The project would not add new refrigerant storage vessels. The Expansion Project would not require any additional marine facilities. Cameron LNG would not modify the LNG loading arms, berthing equipment, basin, or other portions of the marine terminal.

Cameron LNG anticipates beginning construction of the Expansion Project in June 2016, subject to receipt of the commission’s authorization and all other required permits and approvals, and expects liquefaction Trains 4 and 5 to be in operation by year’s end 2019.

The EA also mentions non-jurisdictional facilities that are integral to the project. In its application, Cameron LNG identified plans for Entergy Louisiana LLC to build a new transmission line in Calcasieu and Cameron parishes as well as a new switch yard on the west side of the LNG Terminal. This project would include a 15.9-mile-long, 230-kV transmission line, and a 500/230 kV bulk power substation east of the Carlyss substation near Sulphur, Louisiana. Entergy would design, permit, construct, own, operate, and maintain the new powerline.

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.