A Houston-based start-up company has filed an application with FERC to build the first liquefied natural gas (LNG) peak-shaving storage facility in the state of Florida.

Floridian Natural Gas Storage Co. LLC proposes to site its peak-shaving facility on the 145-acre Florida Steel Superfund site near Indiantown in Martin County, FL, near the Florida Gas Transmission (FGT) and Gulfstream Natural Gas System LLC pipelines. The facility is expected to consist of two above-ground LNG storage tanks, refrigeration compressors and regasification equipment.

An open season for capacity in the first 4 million MMBtu (approximately 4 Bcf) tank concluded in March and was oversubscribed (see NGI, March 19). A Floridian spokesman said the company is planning to develop a second tank for a total storage capacity of 8 million MMBtu. But "whether the second tank will be [built] concurrent with the first tank is still up in the air," she noted. With two tanks, maximum sendout capacity would be 800,000 MMBtu/d. The cost of two tanks would be more than $600 million.

Floridian sought privileged treatment of the application it filed with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, so it was not known if the details of the project had changed much since it was first announced earlier this year [CP08-13] .

The plant would be built by Chicago Bridge & Iron Co., which has built more than 40 LNG terminals and peak-shaving plants and 120 cryogenic LNG storage tanks around the world. Gas would be delivered to and from the facility via Florida's two existing pipelines -- FGT and Gulfstream. The planned construction date is early 2008 with commercial operation beginning in the summer of 2011.

LNG peak shaving is nothing new. It has been a critical part of natural gas supply infrastructure in the Northeast for decades. There are more than 20 LNG peak-shaving facilities in the Northeast alone.

Floridian officials believe a peak-shaving facility is the best alternative to construction of an additional interstate pipeline to serve the Florida market.

The project will require the approvals of FERC and Florida authorities such as the Department of Environmental Protection and the South Florida Water Management District, as well as local Martin County agencies.

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