With the understanding that it’s no secret the state of Floridais in dire need of new natural gas-fired electric generatingfacilities and increased gas supply to support them in the nearfuture, Enron last week disclosed plans to construct an estimated$300 million liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal and facility inthe Bahamas and a 90-mile gas pipeline from the facilities to thecoast of Florida, said Habiba Bayi, a spokeswoman for the company.

The state has forecast that about 10,000 MW of new generationcapacity will be built in Florida between now and 2010, which wouldboost gas demand by 1.6 Bcf/d. Duke Energy and Williams understoodthe extent of Florida’s potential late last year as they ditchedtheir own Buccaneer Pipeline project in favor of buying out itsrival. The companies reached an agreement in November 2000 with TheCoastal Corp. to buy its 100% interest in the proposed Gulfstreampipeline project. However, the Gulfstream line — scheduled forJune 2002 — will only deliver up to 1.13 Bcf/d.

All indicators in the state point toward more electricgeneration, which in turn equates to more natural gas. In lateApril 2000, the Florida Public Service Commission told the state’slargest electric utilities to increase their power reserve margin,or the amount of generation available in excess of peak-day needs,to 20% from 15%, and most if not all of that increase is expectedto be achieved through the addition of gas-fired power.

The proposed Enron facility, which would be built on GrandBahama, would regassify the LNG to be piped near Port Everglades,FL, just north of Miami. Bayi said that the project remained invery early development stages, and still needed numerous approvalsfrom regulatory groups as well as from Florida and the Bahamas.

“If all goes well with the approval processes that have to beconducted on the Bahamas side as well as the Florida side, we hopeconstruction will begin in early 2002,” said Bayi. “Given that, wehope commercial operation will begin in late 2004.”

Alex Steis

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