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Briefs -- Lake Charles LNG, Vermont Gas Systems

Lake Charles LNG Export Co. LLC and Lake Charles Exports LLC have applied to the U.S. Department of Energy for authorization to export from the planned Lake Charles LNG terminal in Louisiana up to 121 Bcf/year to countries with and without free trade agreements with the United States. The companies are currently authorized to export 730 Bcf/year from the terminal. The additional authorization sought is intended to align the total authorized export volume with the planned production capacity of the terminal as approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (see Daily GPI, Dec. 17, 2015).

Vermont Gas Systems should reduce its rates 5.68%, rather than the 3.3% decrease the utility had requested, according to testimony submitted to Vermont's Public Service Board (PSB) by the state's Department of Public Service [docket 7970]. Vermont Gas had hoped the less stringent rate decrease would help it pay for construction of a 41-mile natural gas pipeline extension in the western part of the state. The estimated cost of the project has increased significantly since it was approved two years ago. According to the PSB, when the Addison Natural Gas Project (ANGP) project was first proposed in 2013 it had an $86 million price tag (see Daily GPI, Dec. 26, 2013); by early 2016 the estimate had increased to $153.6 million (see Daily GPI,Jan. 13); in a recent filing, Vermont Gas again raised the expected cost, this time to $165.6 million.    Vermont Gas's ANGP plans call for a 12-inch diameter, 41-mile pipeline that would extend the utility's natural gas pipeline system from Colchester in Chittenden County to Middlebury in Addison County. A PSB decision on the rate case is due in spring 2017.

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