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Trunkline Pipe Loop Expansion Cleared for Service

FERC last Wednesday gave Trunkline Gas Co. LLC the go-ahead to place into immediate service a pipeline loop expansion and metering station to accommodate increased deliveries of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from affiliate Trunkline LNG's import terminal at Lake Charles, LA.

Phase I of the LNG expansion project (including increased vaporization and storage capacity) had been scheduled to come on line by the end of the year, but Trunkline LNG informed FERC in June that construction on certain facilities had been completed ahead of schedule and requested permission to place them in service early. In addition, it said that BG LNG, which has contracted for the LNG terminal's full capacity, including the expansion, was expecting the arrival of more import supplies soon (see NGI, July 18).

Trunkline LNG said the contracted BG LNG's supplier was nearing completion of its liquefaction plant in Egypt and would begin cargo lifting this month. Access to additional vaporization capacity at Lake Charles and new pipeline capacity would allow BG LNG to nearly double its sendout capacity to 1.2 Bcf/d.

In last Wednesday's order, FERC gave the green light for Trunkline Gas pipeline's 36-inch diameter loop facilities from the terminal and an interconnection with Texas Gas Transmission to go into service last Wednesday [July 20], while it said an interconnection with Tennessee Gas Pipeline could begin operation on July 30. The expanded facilities would bolster the sendout capacity from the Trunkline LNG terminal to 1.2 Bcf/d from 630 MMcf/d [CP04-64].

However, FERC has not acted yet on Trunkline LNG's request to place the expanded vaporization and associated facilities into service on July 20, and provide additional vaporization capacity to BG LNG on an interim basis prior to the completion of the rest of the certificated facilities [CP02-60]. The remainder of the facilities approved by the Commission as part of the expansion, principally the LNG storage tank and layberth, are on schedule for completion and in-service later this year, Trunkline LNG told the agency.

When fully completed next year, Phase II of the project will raise the sustained sendout capacity of the Lake Charles terminal to 1.8 Bcf/d with a peak-day capacity of 2.1 Bcf/d. The additional capacity will be fully contracted to BG LNG under an agreement expiring in 2023.

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