Port Dolphin Energy LLC, the U.S. subsidiary of the Norwegian company Hoegh LNG AS, has submitted applications to federal regulators to build and operate a deepwater port to deliver natural gas to Florida's west coast.

The project applications were filed last week with the U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Maritime Administration (MARAD). The deepwater port would include two submerged turret unloading and mooring buoys to receive up to 800 MMcf/d of natural gas from liquefied natural gas (LNG) Shuttle and Regasification Vessels (SRV), which are designed to regasify the LNG onboard and deliver gas to a subsea pipeline; and a 42-mile offshore pipeline to bring the natural gas from the offshore terminal to Port Manatee in Tampa Bay.

The project would have a peak delivery capacity of 1.2 Bcf/d, according to Port Dolphin Energy. It noted that no major onshore facilities would be needed to bring the natural gas to the Florida market. The offshore terminal would be located 28 miles from the Florida coast and would not be visible from shore, the company said.

"This is an important milestone in Hoegh LNG's clearly defined efforts to continue the development of our SRV strategy, where we provide transport, regasification and market access for our customers," said Sveinung Stohle, president and CEO of Hoegh LNG. "We have several other projects of the same kind in process, and we look forward to develop this important project with local stakeholders, authorities and our customers."

Hoegh LNG said it has developed the SRV concept since 2001 and has two vessels on order for delivery in 2009 and 2010 to serve SUEZ LNG Trading and the Neptune deepwater port projects, competing offshore LNG terminal projects in Massachusetts. MARAD approved deepwater port licenses for the two Massachusetts projects earlier this year (see Daily GPI, Feb. 9, Jan. 31).

The Port Dolphin Energy deepwater port is not the only project proposed for the Florida market. SUEZ Energy North America's subsidiary, Calypso LNG LLC, is seeking the approval of federal regulators to build an LNG port off the southeastern coast of Florida.

The Calypso deepwater port is proposed to be located approximately 10 miles offshore from Port Everglades, FL and would comprise a marine offloading buoy and anchoring system that will reside approximately 150 feet below the ocean surface when not in use. The port would connect to an undersea pipeline proposed by another SUEZ subsidiary, Calypso U.S. Pipeline LLC, which would have the capacity to transport approximately 800 MMcf/d of natural gas to customers in Florida (see Daily GPI, Nov. 2, 2006).

Hoegh is a pioneer in the LNG shipping industry and currently operates a fleet of six conventional LNG tankers. It said it has spent the past five years focused on developing and promoting floating LNG regasification terminals, such as the SRV system.

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