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KeySpan Wins Favorable DEIS for LNG Conversion Project in Rhode Island

KeySpan Wins Favorable DEIS for LNG Conversion Project in Rhode Island

FERC last Tuesday issued a favorable draft environmental impact statement (DEIS) to KeySpan LNG to convert an existing storage terminal in Rhode Island to a liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminal and for Algonquin Gas Transmission LLC to build a small connecting pipeline to the proposed facility.

"The [FERC] staff concludes that if the project is constructed and operated in accordance with appropriate mitigating measures as recommended, and if the facility can be brought into compliance with current federal safety regulations, approval of the proposed project would have limited adverse environmental impact," according to a notice of availability of the DEIS on the Providence, RI, terminal project [CP04-223, CP04-358].

The DEIS is the first step in the certificate process at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. KeySpan and Algonquin still must obtain a final environmental impact statement (FEIS) and a project certificate.

KeySpan LNG proposes to convert its existing 600,000 barrel LNG storage terminal in Providence to a receiving terminal. It also plans to boost the facility's vaporization capacity to 525 MMcf/d from 150 MMcf/d, and provide 375 MMcf/d of additional firm baseload supply of natural gas to Rhode Island and the greater New England region.

KeySpan LNG signed an agreement in October 2003 with BG LNG Services to undertake the $50 million conversion project. The project is targeted for in-service in November 2005.

Algonquin, a Duke Energy pipeline, proposes to build 1.44 miles of 24-inch diameter pipeline with 500 MMcf/d of transportation capacity to connect to the KeySpan facility with service to begin next November.

The LNG terminal project has encountered opposition from both Rhode Island Gov. Donald L. Carcieri and state Attorney General Patrick C. Lynch because of safety and security concerns.

In a separate proceeding, the Commission last Tuesday issued a favorable environmental assessment (EA) to Questar Pipeline Co. to expand its southern pipeline system to deliver an additional 102,000 Dth/d of gas from the Uinta and Piceance basins to markets, including power producers, located primarily along the Wasatch Front [CP05-5].

The expansion calls for the installation of about 18.7 miles of 24-inch diameter pipeline in Carbon County, UT, and a number of other associated facilities, as well as new and modified compressor stations in Utah.

In its EA, Commission staff concluded that approval of the Questar project, with appropriate mitigating measures, "would not constitute a major federal action significantly affecting the quality of the human environment."

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