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FERC prepares EIS for Freeport LNG

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LNG Industry,

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has prepared a final environmental impact statement (EIS) for the Liquefaction and Phase II Modification Projects proposed by Freeport LNG Development L.P., FLNG Liquefaction LLC, FLNG Liquefaction 2 LLC, and FLNG Liquefaction 3 LLC.

The proposed Phase II Modification Project includes modification to the previously authorised but not constructed LNG vessel berthing dock, LNG transfer pipelines, LNG unloading arms, and the access road system.

Freeport LNG will also not construct components of the previously authorised Phase II Project, including vaporisation equipment that was approved to increase the Quintana Island terminal's sendout capacity.

Liquefaction project

The liquefaction project – consisting of the pretreatment plant, the pipeline/utility line system, and the associated appurtenant structures - would produce a total of 13.2 million tpa for export. This equates to a total liquefaction capacity of 1.8 billion ft3/d of natural gas. The liquefaction plant would consist of three propane pre-cooled mixed refrigerant liquefaction trains and appurtenant facilities to support liquefaction adjacent to the existing Quintana Island terminal.

In support of the liquefaction plant, Freeport LNG proposes to construct a natural gas pretreatment plant located about 2.5 miles north of the existing Quintana Island terminal. The pipeline/utility line system consists of several interconnecting pipelines and utility lines, including a 5 mile long, 12 in. dia. boil-off gas (BOG) pipeline from the terminal to the pretreatment plant. 

Final EIS

FERC concluded that, if the proposed projects are approved, constructed, and operated, they would result in mostly temporary and short-term environmental impacts. However, FERC also notes that the projects would result in some adverse environmental impacts. The impacts would not be significant except for the traffic and noise impacts on the residents of the Town of Quintana during construction. FERC cites the following as the principal reasons for its decisions:

  • 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 on in-water resources, implement the use of Freeport LNG’s procedures to minimise construction impacts on soils, wetlands, and waterbodies, and use the horizontal directional drill method to minimise impacts on wetlands and waterways.
  •  Adequate safety features would be incorporated into the design and operation of the projects.
  •  The pipeline/utility line 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 be not likely to adversely affect any federally or state-listed threatened or endangered species.
  •  Air emissions from the projects would not exceed the National Ambient Air Quality Standards, and noise and vibration impacts would be minimised as much as practicable.
  • The FERC’s environmental and engineering inspection and mitigation monitoring programme for the projects would ensure compliance with all mitigation measures and conditions of any FERC Authorization.

The FERC Commissioners will take into consideration staff’s recommendations when they make a decision on the project The final EIS has been prepared in compliance with the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the Council on Environmental Quality regulations for implementing NEPA (40 Code of Federal Regulations [CFR] 1500–1508), and FERC regulations implementing NEPA (18 CFR 380).

The conclusions and recommendations presented in the final EIS are those of the FERC environmental staff. Cooperating agencies in the preparation of the final EIS include the US Army Corps of Engineers, the US Department of Energy (DOE), the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the US Department of Transportation, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration - National Marine Fisheries Service.

Adapted from press release by

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