The deepwater port license application submitted by TORP Terminal LP for the Bienville Offshore Energy Terminal has been approved by U.S. Maritime Administrator David T. Matsuda.

Bienville Offshore Energy Terminal would be a liquefied natural gas (LNG) regasification facility in the Gulf of Mexico, 63 miles south of Dauphin Island, AL, in a water depth of 425 feet.

"This is another important step in making the Bienville Offshore Energy Terminal a reality," said TORP Terminal CEO Joe Berno. "Our goal is to provide the lowest annual cost of holding regasification capacity in the United States."

The terminal will use the HiLoad technology and a floating regasification unit with no permanent offshore structures, TORP said. The Terminal will also utilize closed-loop ambient air vaporization, which is a preferred solution of the Environmental Protection Agency, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and environmental groups. The Terminal will have a peak LNG sendout capacity of 1.4 Bcf/d and will be able to accommodate any LNG carrier without modification to the incoming vessel.

The terminal's use of a closed-loop system was one of the factors cited by Alabama Gov. Robert Riley when he approved the project in September (see Daily GPI, Sept. 17).

"This record of decision proves that smaller terminal developers can introduce innovative solutions, both technically and commercially, to offer long-term access to the world's largest natural gas market at very attractive terms," said TORP LNG CEO Lars Odeskaug. "Similarly, we have developed the EasyLNG technology, which is designed for use in protected waters and offers the lowest regasification rates for small to medium volumes. We have already received interest from clients in South America, Asia and Europe that would benefit from this technology."

TORP Terminal is a limited partnership owned by TORP Technology Inc., privately held TORP LNG AS of Norway and Siemens Financial Services Inc.

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