FERC on Friday issued draft environmental approval of Calhoun LNG LP's proposal to build a liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminal in Southeast Texas and an affiliate's plan to construct a connecting pipeline.

"We conclude that, with the use of Calhoun Point Comfort's proposed mitigation and adoption of our recommended mitigation measures, construction and operation of the proposed facilities would have limited adverse environmental impact," FERC staff said in its draft environmental impact statement (DEIS) on the affiliated LNG and pipeline projects (CP05-91, CP05-380). The twin projects are collectively referred to as Calhoun Point Comfort.

The DEIS is the first step in the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's approval process. The Calhoun Point Comfort project still must receive final environmental clearance before obtaining a certificate of approval.

The LNG terminal project calls for the construction of facilities to vaporize about 1 Bcf/d of LNG to provide natural gas to local industrial customers, such as Formosa Hydrocarbons Co. and Formosa Plastics Corp, as well as deliver gas into existing interstate and intrastate gas pipeline systems near Edna, TX. The terminal would include an LNG ship berth and unloading facilities on the southeastern shoreline of Lavaca Bay in Calhoun County in Southeast Texas. The terminal would unload up to 120 LNG ships annually.

Calhoun LNG, a subsidiary of Houston-based Gulf Coast LNG Partners LP, also seeks to build two 160,000 cubic meter single-containment LNG storage tanks and vaporization and processing equipment on an 89-acre tract of land in Calhoun County.

Affiliate Point Comfort Pipeline Co. proposes to build a 27-mile, 36-inch diameter pipeline, along with a small lateral that would extend northward from the LNG terminal to gas pipeline interconnects southwest of Edna in Jackson County, TX. It plans to interconnect with nine intrastate and interstate pipeline systems.

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