FERC Thursday approved Trunkline LNG Co. LLC’s proposal to use ambient heat to reduce the amount of fuel gas needed in the vaporization of liquefied natural gas (LNG) at its import terminal in Lake Charles, LA.

Trunkline LNG proposes to install ambient air vaporization (AAV) facilities for the entire 1.8 Bcf/d sendout capacity of the import terminal. The AAV system would use surrounding air to warm LNG to a temperature that allows it to transition from liquid to a gas. This would reduce the amount of fuel that is typically used by the existing submerged combustion vaporizer (SCV) facilities at the terminal, according to the Houston-based company, which is an indirect subsidiary of Panhandle Eastern Pipe Line Co., a unit of Southern Union Co.

Currently, Trunkline LNG said it uses 1.6% of sendout as fuel for the existing SCV facilities. The savings in fuel gas will result in lower operating costs for Trunkline’s customer, BG LNG Services LLC.

The project also includes the installation of processing equipment to extract ethane and other heavier hydrocarbons from approximately half of the terminal’s daily sendout before the gas is sent to the pipeline for delivery to downstream markets. The processing equipment would permit BG LNG to import LNG from a more diverse supply portfolio, including LNG trains with a higher Btu content.

The company called on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to approve the project quickly so that it could be placed in service in the July-August 2008 period.

Trunkline LNG completed the Phase II expansion of its Lake Charles terminal in July of this year, increasing sustained sendout capacity to 1.8 Bcf/d and peak sendout capacity to 2.1 Bcf/d. The Phase II expansion also included the construction of unloading capabilities at the terminal’s second dock.

The Phase I expansion, which included a second ship berth and new LNG storage tank that increased terminal storage capacity to 9 Bcf, was placed in service in April.

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