FERC staff has issued a positive draft environmental impact statement (DEIS) for the Plaquemines LNG and Gator Express Pipeline project, which include a liquefied natural gas (LNG) export terminal and related pipeline 30 miles south of New Orleans.

Any adverse environmental impacts of the project would be reduced to less-than-significant levels with the implementation of mitigation measures proposed by Venture Global Plaquemines LNG LLC and Venture Global Gator Express LLC and additional measures recommended by staff, according to the 683-page DEIS [CP17-67].

The DEIS comes 20 months after the companies made their formal application to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for the 20 million metric ton/year (mmty) Plaquemines LNG facility, which would be constructed on a 632-acre site in Plaquemines Parish at river mile marker 55 on the Mississippi River. The export facility would include more than 7,000 feet of Mississippi River frontage with three LNG loading docks.

In December 2016 Venture Global said it would proceed with the $8.5 billion project, its second in Louisiana. The company is also developing the $4.5 billion Calcasieu Pass project, which was announced in Cameron Parish in December 2014 and is under development.

The Plaquemines LNG project is planned to feature 20 liquefaction blocks developed in two phases, with each block having a nameplate capacity of 1 mmty. It would also contain four 200,000-cubic-meter LNG above-ground storage tanks with cryogenic pipeline connections to the liquefaction plant and berthing docks.

The facility is expected to include up to three marine loading berths capable of receiving oceangoing LNG carriers up to 185,000 cubic meters in capacity. It would also include a utility dock on the Mississippi River to handle waterborne deliveries of equipment and material during both construction and project operations. A combined-cycle gas turbine power plant with generating capacity of 720 MW also is to be developed; another similar plant is to be added in a second phase.

To deliver natural gas to the project site, Venture Global is proposing to construct two 42-inch diameter pipelines connecting to existing interstate natural gas pipelines.

The proposed Gator Express facilities would be constructed in two phases and in the first phase include a 16-mile, 42-inch diameter pipeline and appurtenant facilities, to deliver gas to the LNG project from new interconnections with Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co. LLC and Texas Eastern Transmission LP offshore, southwest of the terminal site. In the second phase, a looped section of 11-mile, 42-inch diameter pipeline and appurtenant facilities would deliver additional supplies to the terminal from the interconnection with Texas Eastern Transmission.

Each phase would be designed to deliver about 1.97 million Dth/d.

Venture Global’s other proposed LNG export project in Louisiana, Calcasieu Pass, received a final EIS from FERC staff last month [CP15-550]. The Calcasieu Pass Project, which would be built on a 930-acre site in Cameron Parish, LA, would include two 200,000 cubic meter LNG storage tanks; two LNG berthing docks, designed to handle carriers of 120,000-210,000 cubic meter cargo capacity; and a 1,500-foot by 3,000-foot turning basin adjacent to the Calcasieu River Ship Channel. All would be built and operated by Venture Global Calcasieu Pass LLC, a subsidiary of Venture Global LNG.

In September, FERC issued environmental schedules for a dozen pending LNG terminal projects, including Plaquemines. FERC also signed a memorandum of understanding with the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration to coordinate the siting and safety review of FERC-jurisdictional LNG facilities.

Since then FERC has issued positive DEIS for several projects in addition to Plaquemines, including the Port Arthur, TX Liquefaction Project [CP17-20]; the Driftwood LNG project near Lake Charles, LA [CP17-117 and CP17-118]; Texas LNG Brownsville LLC‘s proposal for an LNG export terminal at the Port of Brownsville in South Texas [CP16-116]; and NextDecade Corp.’s Rio Grande LNG project at the Port of Brownsville [CP16-454].