Port Barre Gas Storage is planning to build a three-cavern, 10.5 Bcf storage facility in central Louisiana to cater to liquefied natural gas (LNG) importers and the large industrial base and growing power generation market in the state, according to an official associated with the project.

The $125 million intrastate storage facility would be built on the 84-acre Port Barre Salt Dome site in St. Landry Parish, which is located between Baton Rouge and Lafayette, LA. The first of the proposed three caverns would be targeted for in-service in December 2006, with 3.5 Bcf of working gas capacity. The delivery capability of the one cavern would be 500 MMcf/d on peak. All three caverns would have a combined delivery capacity of 1 Bcf/d and injection capability of 450 MMcf/d.

The project is not backed by a natural gas company, but rather it is the brainchild of the owner of the 84-acre site, said Ken Beckman, president of Houston-based International Gas Consulting Co., which has helped the owner design the project, explore financing options and prepare filings for Louisiana regulators. He asked NGI to withhold the site owner’s name until the project proposal is filed with the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources in September.

“We are in negotiations with several major financial institutions now, and will be looking for equity partners and operators,” said the site owner, who lives in New Orleans.

Port Barre plans to hold an open season for firm storage capacity in late September, Beckman said. The facility will interconnect with Enterprise Products Partners LP system, a Louisiana intrastate pipeline, and potentially with interstate Gulf South Pipeline, he noted. The entire three-cavern facility will take approximately 3 1/2 years to build.

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