HOUSTON, Nov 2 (Reuters) - U.S. officials have issued a draft environmental impact statement on SUEZ Energy’s SZE.PA proposed LNG import terminal offshore of Florida, moving the project to the public meeting stage of the licensing process, the company said Friday.
A public meeting is planned in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on November 28 by the U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Maritime Administration to take comment on the proposed project’s environmental impact, a SUEZ spokeswoman said.
If the licensing process goes smoothly, construction could begin by May 2008 with start of commercial operations targeted for summer 2010, project manager Dan McGinnis said.
LNG terminals take liquefied natural gas off seagoing tankers, regasify it, then send it into pipelines for domestic use. Gas is liquefied at -260 degrees Fahrenheit (-162 Centigrade) at foreign export facilities for shipment where pipelines do not reach.
Calypso, a fallback plan after unsuccessful efforts by SUEZ to locate a terminal in the Bahamas to serve Florida, would be a submerged buoy 10 miles off southeast Florida. Planned capacity is more than 1 billion cubic feet of gas per day, SUEZ said.
Cost of the project is currently estimated at more than $350 million, McGinnis said.