The US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has issued a draft environmental impact assessment (EIS) for the Freeport LNG project.
The EIS has been prepared for the Phase II Modification Project and the Liquefaction Project. Modifications for the Freeport LNG project include changes to the following:
- Previously authorised LNG vessel berthing dock
- LNG transfer pipelines
- LNG unloading arms
- Access road system at Freeport’s existing Quintana Island terminal
LNG export capacity
The proposed liquefaction project, located in Brazoria County near Freeport, Texas, would provide Freeport LNG with the capacity to export approximately 13.2 million tpa of LNG. The company intends to install three liquefaction trains and supporting equipment, capable of liquefying 1.8 billion ft3 of natural gas per day.
In support of the liquefaction plant, Freeport LNG intends to construct a natural gas pre-treatment plant approximately 2.5 miles north of the existing Quintana Island terminal. The pre-treatment plant would process the gas for liquefaction. Additionally, several interconnecting pipelines and utility lines would run from the Quintana Island terminal to the plant.
Draft EIS report
The draft EIS was prepared in compliance with the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the Council on Environmental Quality regulations for implementing NEPA, and FERC regulations implementing NEPA.
The US Army Corps of Engineers, US Department of Energy, United States Environmental Protection Agency, the US Department of Transportation, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration - National Marine Fisheries Service, were all involved in preparing the draft EIS.
A statement from the FERC explained: “We conclude that construction and operation of the projects would result in adverse impacts on certain resources and nearby communities. We have identified that there would be significant and unavoidable impacts on residents of the town of Quintana due to construction noise and construction traffic if the projects are approved by the Commission. However, other adverse impacts would be reduced to less-than-significant levels with the implementation of Freeport LNG’s mitigation measures and the additional measures we recommend in the EIS.”
LNG project modifications
Key elements of the draft EIS, which recommend the Freeport LNG modification project, are:
- The site of the liquefaction plant would be an expansion of an existing, operating LNG import terminal with existing LNG storage tanks and berthing and loading/unloading facilities.
- Freeport LNG would implement its dredging plan to minimise impacts of in-water dredging, implement the use of Freeport’s procedures and specialised construction techniques to minimise construction impacts on soils, wetlands, and waterbodies.
- Freeport LNG would incorporate adequate safety features into the design and operation of the projects.
- The pipeline system follows the existing sendout pipeline and would be contained within the already disturbed right-of-way.
- The projects would have no effect or would not likely adversely affect any threatened or endangered species.
- Air emissions from the projects would not exceed of the National Ambient Air Quality Standards, and noise and vibration impacts would be minimised.
- The FERC’s environmental and engineering inspection and mitigation monitoring program for this project would ensure compliance with all mitigation measures and conditions of any FERC authorisation.
Adapted from press release by Katie Woodward
Read the article online at: https://www.lngindustry.com/liquefaction/17032014/draft_eis_for_freeport_lng_293/