Downeast LNG (DELNG) has made its prefiling request with FERC for its $2 billion bidirectional liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal proposed for Robbinston, ME.

The project as currently conceived is a revamp of a previously proposed import-only project for the same site. The new project envisions a much smaller capacity for imports and adds natural gas liquefaction and export capability (see Daily GPI, June 20).

According to the filing, the facility would be able to produce up to 3 million tons per annum (mtpa) of LNG per year beginning in 2019-2020 for LNG buyers through a tolling model. DELNG recently increased capacity by 1 mtpa due to market interest, said Downeast founder Dean Girdis. Construction is expected to begin in 2016. DELNG said it plans to submit free-trade agreement (FTA) and non-FTA export requests to the U.S. Department of Energy.

The project would be able to access gas from the United States as well as Canada, with supplies committed under fixed-price contracts or a floating index.

"The Downeast LNG Export Project will have the ability to access Canadian gas via the existing Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline-U.S. system that interconnects with that of Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline-Canada and accesses gas production in Nova Scotia," Downeast said in its filing at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). "It will also have the ability to access Canadian gas via the existing PNGTS [Portland Natural Gas Transmission System] pipeline system, which interconnects with TransCanada's Trans Quebec & Maritimes Pipeline, which in turn interconnects with TransCanada's Mainline, sourcing gas from Western Canada.

"Alternatively, the...project could also access U.S. and Canadian gas at Wright, NY, via the proposed Kinder Morgan (Tennessee Gas Pipeline) project or the existing TransCanada Mainline and the Iroquois Gas Transmission System LP pipeline, which would both source gas supply via the Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co. and Dominion Transmission Inc. pipeline systems.”

According to DELNG, the facility would help alleviate gas supply constraints in the New England region by contracting for 450 MMcf/d of firm gas pipeline capacity, thereby supporting the construction of pipelines to the region and increasing market liquidity, DELNG said. The company also plans to release up to 20 days of pipeline capacity annually to New England consumers on the coldest winter days to increase gas supply, thereby reducing high winter spot gas prices in the region.