FERC Thursday vacated certificates — a Section 3 authorization and a presidential permit — for AES Ocean Express LLC to build the U.S. leg of a pipeline to import natural gas from the company’s proposed $800 million liquefied natural gas (LNG) import project in the Bahamas.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission order, which was issued in January 2004, authorized the construction of a 54.5-mile, 24-inch diameter pipeline to be located onshore and in state waters offshore of Broward County, FL, to import up to 842,000 Dth/d. FERC required AES Ocean Express, a subsidiary of AES Corp., to have the pipeline and associated facilities in service by Jan. 27, 2007.

AES twice sought and was granted an extension of the deadline — once to Jan. 29, 2009 and a second time to Jan. 29, 2012. “Ocean Express has not constructed the proposed facilities or sought to extend the in-service day beyond the Jan. 29, 2012 deadline. Thus, authorizations for the project have lapsed. Therefore, we are vacating the certificates, authorization and permit issue in the 2004 order,” said the order, issued last Thursday [CP02-90].

The deadline extensions were necessary to accommodate the delays on the Bahamas’ side of the project, AES previously said (see Daily GPI, Dec. 28, 2006). “The delay is largely due to the time required for The Bahamas to develop regulations to govern the [LNG] terminal that will be built in the Bahamas and the associated nonjurisdictional pipeline facilities that will interconnect with the Ocean Express pipeline.”

AES had planned the $800 million project to include two 160,000 cubic-meter LNG storage tanks and an 842 MMcf/d regasification facility on a 90-acre man-made island, located about 65 miles east of Miami. The 76-mile Ocean Express pipeline was to transport regasified LNG to Ft. Lauderdale in southern Florida.

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