FERC last Wednesday issued an amended Section 3 authorization to Trunkline LNG to carry out the Phase II expansion of its liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal in Lake Charles, LA, which will bolster the peak sendout capacity of the facility to 2.1 Bcf/d.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission also awarded a Section 7 certificate to affiliate Trunkline Gas to build and operate 23 miles of 30-inch diameter pipeline that would loop its existing system to accommodate the increased sendout capacity.

“The expansion here is significant. It’s as much as some brand new proposals that are being considered elsewhere in the country,” said Wood. “While I think it’s important to have a nice dispersion of LNG across the county, it is of primary importance to get the gas to our continent…Not that we couldn’t use them [LNG facilities] on the West Coast and the East Coast as well, but as a [former] Gulf Coaster, I’m glad to see them on the Gulf Coast.”

The combined cost of both the LNG terminal expansion and pipeline project is $127 million, according to FERC staff [CP02-60-004, CP04-64]. Trunkline has estimated the terminal expansion will take 27 months to construct. It is expected to be in service by 2006.

The Phase II terminal expansion and associated pipeline will boost the sendout capacity from the terminal by an incremental 50%, to 1.8 Bcf/d on a sustained basis, with a peak of 2.1 Bcf/d. The additional capacity will be fully contracted to BG LNG under an agreement expiring in 2023. BG LNG also has signed a long-term agreement for the transportation capacity on the new pipeline facilities.

Trunkline currently is building Phase I expansion of the Lake Charles LNG terminal, which will raise sendout capacity to 1.2 Bcf/d from its existing 630 MMcf/d and expand terminal storage capacity to 9 Bcf from its current 6.3 Bcf. Phase I, which was approved by FERC in 2003, is slated to be completed and in service in December 2005.

Both Trunkline LNG and Trunkline Gas pipeline are subsidiaries of Wilkes Barre, PA-based Southern Union.

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