Photo: Image courtesy of Commonwealth LNG

FERC suspends Commonwealth LNG environmental review

The United States Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has suspended the environmental review of the proposed Commonwealth LNG project in Cameron Parish, Louisiana. 

FERC said in its notice that upon request for additional data, COmmonwealth LNG provided a partial response earlier in February stating that it would provide
the remainder of the outstanding responses in stages through July 2020, including an official interpretation from the United States Department of Transportation – Pipeline and Hazardous Material Safety Administration (PHMSA) in June 2020 pertaining to Commonwealth’s proposed LNG storage tank design.

The initial date for the draft environmental impact statement (EIS) was set as May 2020, with the final EIS to be issued by October 2, 2020.

However, due to the outstanding data responses to FERC’s request and the issuance of the PHMSA interpretation expected after the previously announced draft EIS date, the commission will suspend the environmental review schedule for the project.

Once FERC has reviewed both the responses and the PHMSA interpretation, it will issue a revised schedule for the draft and final EIS.

FERC added in its notice that this is not a suspension of the Commonwealth LNG review process as it will continue to process the proposal to the extent possible based upon the information provided to date.

Located on the west side of the Calcasieu Ship Channel, near the entrance to the Gulf of Mexico, the project will include six LNG storage tanks, each with a capacity of 40,000 cubic meters, one marine loading berth capable of loading LNG carriers up to a capacity of 216,000 cubic meters, and a 3.04-mile long, 30-inch diameter pipeline that will connect the LNG facility with existing intrastate and interstate pipelines for the purpose of supplying gas to the project.

It is unknown whether the environmental review suspension will delay Commonwealth LNG’s projected timeline. The project proponent expected to take a final investment decision in the first quarter of 2021 and deliver its first shipments of LNG in the second quarter of 2024.

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