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Second Bahamas-to-Florida Pipeline Closes in on FERC Certificate

Second Bahamas-to-Florida Pipeline Closes in on FERC Certificate

FERC has given final environmental clearance to Tractebel Calypso Pipeline LLC for its proposed $132 million pipeline project, which would bring regasified liquefied natural gas (LNG) to Florida's East Coast from a proposed import terminal in the Bahamas. This places the project on a fast track to receive a certificate from the Commission.

"Approval of the proposed project with the appropriate mitigating measures...would have limited adverse environmental impact," the staff of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission concluded in its final environmental impact statement (FEIS) on the Tractebel Calypso pipeline [CP01-409].

The Tractebel Calypso project is closing in on AES Corp.'s competing Ocean Express project. which won final authorizations from FERC last week to build the U.S. leg of a pipeline that would deliver gas to southern Florida from a proposed LNG import terminal in the Bahamas (see NGI's GPI, Jan. 23).

The Commission last July gave Tractebel Calypso up to three years from the date of a final project certificate -- rather than the typical two years -- to complete the 41.9-mile pipeline, which would extend from an underwater interconnection at the U.S.-Bahamian Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) boundary to delivery points in Broward County, FL (see NGI's GPI, July 25, 2003).

Tractebel sought the additional time to accommodate the Bahamian portion of the project, which includes an affiliate's new LNG terminal in Freeport, Grand Bahama and the connecting Bahamian pipeline. It said while it expected to complete construction of the U.S. portion of the pipeline (from EEZ boundary to Florida) in approximately 15 months, construction of the Freeport LNG terminal and the Bahamian leg of the line would take up to 32 months.

The company further said that construction of the Bahamian facilities would most likely not begin until FERC awards a final certificate.

The U.S. project would include 36 miles of 24-inch diameter offshore pipeline facilities and 5.8 miles of 24-inch onshore pipeline. It would transport up to 832,000 MMBtu/d of gas to a connection with Florida Gas Transmission in central Broward County from a connection with a non-jurisdictional line at the EEZ boundary.

Tractebel, a subsidiary of the French water and energy company Suez, also owns the Cabot LNG import terminal inn Everett, MA.

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