The U.S. Maritime Administration and the U.S. Coast Guard Friday issued a draft environmental impact statement (DEIS) for Calypso LNG LLC's deepwater port off the southeastern coast of Florida.

A notice, which was published in the Federal Register, begins a 45-day comment period on the DEIS. The agencies also plan to hold a public meeting in Fort Lauderdale, FL, on Nov. 28 to discuss the project and the environmental review.

Calypso LNG, a subsidiary of SUEZ Energy North America, plans to build its liquefied natural gas (LNG) deepwater port approximately 10 miles offshore from Port Everglades, FL. The project, which was proposed after an LNG project in the Bahamas stalled, will consist of a marine offloading buoy and anchoring system that will reside approximately 150 feet below the ocean surface when not in use.

Construction of the deepwater port would take approximately three years after a license is issued, the agencies said. It would connect to an undersea pipeline operated by another SUEZ subsidiary, Calypso U.S. Pipeline LLC, which has the capacity to transport approximately 800 MMcf/d of natural gas to customers in Florida (see NGI, May 22, 2006).

Calypso said that besides being a new source of energy, the design of the deepwater port brings an added measure of reliability to Florida customers, who have experienced prolonged service disruptions due to impacts of major hurricanes that typically hit the region each year.

The Calypso port is similar to one currently under development by another SUEZ subsidiary, Neptune LNG LLC (see NGI, Feb. 13, 2006). The Neptune Deepwater Port will be located off the coast of Massachusetts to serve Boston and the greater New England market. Development of this offshore installation is within schedule and is targeted to be up and running in 2009.

SUEZ owns and operates LNG facilities on each side of the Atlantic Ocean -- at Everett, MA, serving the New England market, and at Zeebrugge, Belgium, serving the central European market.

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