Broadwater Energy LLC, a joint venture of TransCanada Corp. and Shell, has filed an application at FERC to build a deepwater liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminal in Long Island Sound about 11 miles off the coast of Connecticut and nine miles offshore Long Island.
The application filing marks the latest step in a comprehensive public and regulatory review of the LNG project that got underway at the agency in November 2004, the Riverhead, NY-based company said (see NGI, Nov. 15, 2004). The project now has an offshore rival that was announced last month -- the Safe Harbor Energy LNG terminal which would be located on a 53-acre man-made island off the south shore of Long Island in the Atlantic Ocean (see NGI, Jan. 30).
The proposed Broadwater Energy offshore terminal would include a floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU) with an average sendout capacity of 1 Bcf/d and peak sendout of 1.25 Bcf/d. Broadwater Energy would operate the facility, while Shell would own the capacity and supply the LNG. The project, which is expected to go into service in 2010, would cost approximately $700 million to build.
The FSRU is a ship-like vessel that would be moored in Long Island Sound. It would store about 8 Bcf of natural gas and supply enough natural gas to meet the energy needs of four million New York and Connecticut residences, the company said.
Once constructed, approximately two to three tankers would arrive each week to offload LNG into the facility where it would be stored in liquid form until it is regasified and transferred to the Iroquois Gas Transmission System in Long Island Sound and delivered to New York and Connecticut markets, according to Broadwater Energy.
"We understand that no major energy project will be embraced by everyone when first introduced, but we are confident that the facts and extensive analysis presented in this filing will demonstrate to all that Broadwater will be a safe, reliable and environmentally sound energy supply source, as well as one with a profound impact on the regional natural gas prices faced by ratepayers," said John Hritcko Jr., senior vice president for Broadwater Energy.
One of the foes of the project is Connecticut's outspoken attorney general, Richard Blumenthal, who last month demanded FERC release critical information about the Broadwater project without the AG first formally filing a request and signing a non-disclosure agreement with the agency.
Several other LNG projects currently are in the works in New England, New York and New Jersey, including an expansion of Tractebel's existing LNG terminal in Everett, MA; Weaver's Cove LNG project in Fall River, MA; and BP's Crown Landing project in Logan Township, NJ. There also are three proposals for LNG terminals outside of Boston, one on an island in Boston Harbor and two for deepwater ports in the Atlantic (see Daily GPI, Jan. 23).
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission staff believes that at least three LNG projects probably would be needed to meet demand growth in the region. Additional pipeline capacity also eventually would be required to service New York City and the region.
However, all of the projects proposed so far have encountered stiff environmental, landowner and sometimes regulatory opposition. Clearly, market need alone does not determine the fate of energy projects in the region. As a result, TransCanada and Shell will face a challenging uphill battle to get their proposed LNG terminal approved and constructed. The Broadwater Energy project will require numerous state and federal regulatory approvals, a process that could take up to three years.
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