An environmental review has been launched for a proposed small-scale liquefied natural gas (LNG) project on Louisiana Gulf Coast by Fourchon LNG LLC.

The notice of intent to prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS) by FERC staff opens a scoping process for the Lafourche Parish, LA, project which is to include a public hearing scheduled Nov. 16 to identify specific environmental issues and concerns.

Fourchon, a joint project of  the Greater Lafourche Port Commission (GLPC) and Energy World USA, is proposing toproduce up to 5 million metric tons/year of LNG and export up to 260 Bcf annually.

Port Fourchon is Louisiana's southernmost port and destination for nearly all of the Gulf of Mexico's deepwater oil production.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s notice indicated that 55 acres are identified for the planned upland terminal and pipelines. About 40.6 acres in Belle Pass Channel would be affected to create a ship turning basin. FERC would use the EIS to determine whether the project is in the public interest.

"Following construction, Fourchon LNG would maintain about 53 acres for permanent operation of the upland terminal and pipeline rights-of-way," according to FERC. Temporary construction areas eventually would be restored.

The National Environmental Policy Act would guide the EIS process. FERC said it plans to address any concerns raised by the public and alternatives also would be evaluated.

Fourchon's two-phase project, whose first phase is estimated to cost $888 million, is part of a growing trend to develop less expensive, smaller-scale LNG projects.