USCG confirms Brownsville channel’s suitability for Texas LNG traffic
The U.S. Coast Guard issued a letter recommending to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) that the Brownsville Ship Channel is suitable for Texas LNG’s marine traffic as it relates to safety and security.
“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 U.S. Coast Guard’s R.A. Hahn, Captain of the Port, Corpus Christi, Texas, in his letter to FERC.
In its review of Texas LNG’s water suitability assessment, the Coast Guard addressed public comments that raised a number of issues, including safety, security, potential environmental impacts, economics, public outreach, and physical characteristics of the ship channel, Texas LNG Brownsville said in its statement.
In addition, the Coast Guard considered not only Texas LNG’s expected LNG carrier traffic but also recognized other traffic transiting through the channel including offshore rigs, aircraft carriers, fishing vessels, recreational vessels, towing vessels, non-piloted barges, as well as potential traffic from other proposed LNG projects.
The Coast Guard concluded that the waterway is suitable to handle current and anticipated incremental traffic from the Texas LNG facility.
The Texas LNG facility is being designed to accommodate LNG carriers with nominal LNG capacities up to 180,000 cubic meters and dimensions on the order of 298 meters long and 46 meters wide.
The Brownsville Ship Channel has a current depth of 12.8 meters, with full U.S. Congressional authorization to deepen its channel to 15.8 meters.
The total inbound transit from the Gulf of Mexico sea buoy to the future Texas LNG terminal berth is approximately seven miles (11 km).
Issuance of the Coast Guard’s Letter of Recommendation marks another positive milestone in Texas LNG’s project development
Full FERC approval and final investment decision (FID) for the development of the Texas LNG liquefaction project in Brownsville, Texas, are expected in 2019, and first phase production of 2 million tonnes per annum of LNG is expected to begin in 2023.
The project 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.