Florida regulators have granted Port Dolphin Energy LLC an environmental permit for its offshore liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal.

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection issued an individual environmental resource permit to build and operate the port and pipeline.

When the project is completed, vessels operated by Port Dolphin parent Hoegh LNG of Norway will return LNG to a gaseous state onboard and move natural gas through the terminal's pipeline.

State lawmakers voted in November to authorize issuance of a long-term easement on state-owned submerged lands to accommodate the undersea pipeline. Port Dolphin received its federal deepwater port license in October 2009 and a certificate of public necessity and convenience from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in December 2009.

LNG tankers would arrive at Port Dolphin's offshore facility and then connect to a new undersea pipeline system that would come onshore at Port Manatee, FL (see Daily GPI, July 14, 2009; Feb. 21, 2008; April 4, 2007). In addition to its offshore port facility and pipeline, Port Dolphin is also expected to base an operations center at Port Manatee. Last March Manatee County approved the project (see Daily GPI, March 22, 2010).

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