US Coast Guard Approves Texas LNG Use of Brownsville Channel

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The United States Coast Guard (USCG) has issued a Letter of Recommendation to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (Ferc) confirming the suitability of the Brownsville Ship Channel for Texas LNG’s marine traffic as it relates to safety and security, according to a Texas LNG announcement. Texas LNG, which formally filed with Ferc in 2016, has proposed a two-phase, 4 million ton per year LNG export project for Brownsville, Texas (LNGI Apr.4'16). The project is one of many small-to-mid-scale LNG export proposals proliferating across the US Gulf Coast and intended to meet a hoped-for supply gap expected to emerge post-2020. “After reviewing the information in the applicant’s [Letter of Intent] and Waterway Suitability Assessment and completing an evaluation of the waterway in consultation with a variety of state and local port stakeholders, I recommend that the Brownsville Ship Channel be considered suitable for … accommodating the type and frequency of LNG marine traffic associated with this project,” stated USCG Captain R.A. Hahn, Captain of the Port, Corpus Christi, Texas, in his letter to Ferc. USCG concluded that the waterway is suitable to handle current and anticipated incremental traffic from the Texas LNG facility, the announcement said. Texas LNG is being designed to accommodate LNG carriers with a capacity of up to 180,000 cubic meters and dimensions on the order of 977 feet (298 meters) long and 151 feet (46 meter) wide. Texas LNG cited total inbound transit from the Gulf of Mexico to the terminal at about 7 miles (11 km). "This is a notable advantage over most other proposed US LNG projects in Texas, as well those in Louisiana, where transit distances can be significantly longer," it said. Full Ferc approval and a final investment decision for Texas LNG are expected in 2019 with first phase production of 2 million tons per year starting in 2023. Texas LNG has secured long-term offtake term sheets from LNG buyers in China, Southeast Asia and Europe, and is planning to begin pre-FID detailed engineering in 2018 upon closing of its current funding round, the company said (LNGI Jan.12'17). Energy Intelligence

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