Re: AES Ocean Express pipeline from Florida to Bahamas

Yet another LNG export scheme linked with the so-called Southeast Market Pipelines Project, in addition to at least two more. Why should anybody give up their land for export profit for a few companies somewhere else? An undersea pipeline originally for import to Florida, now being promoted for LNG export because of U.S. surplus methane from fracking, already approved by the U.S. a decade ago, only waiting for approval by the Bahamas, which is being pressured by an international bank to do so. It would run from FPL’s Port Everglades “Clean Energy Center” in Broward County, a location linked since it was announced with FPL’s Florida Southeast Connection, which would get its gas from the Sabal Trail and Transco pipelines, starting with fracking in Pennsylvania and Texas.

Candia Dames wrote for dennisdamesonline.net 23 January 2004, AES Corp. Clears Hurdle For LNG Pipeline,

The AES Corporation has cleared another important hurdle in its bid to lay a liquefied natural gas pipeline between The Bahamas and southeastern Florida.

The U.S. Federal Regulatory Commission on Thursday gave the company final approval for its Ocean Express pipeline project, Reuters News Service reported.

Now AES has to secure the go-ahead from the Bahamas Government before it could begin the project.

But that could take some time.

Two months ago, Keod Smith, Ambassador to the Environment and Chairman of the Bahamas Environment Science and Technology Commission (BEST), urged the government to move “very slowly” before making a decision regarding the three proposals for LNG projects before it.

Mr. Smith said that the necessary legislation is not in place to guard against possible environmental impacts.

Here’s the 10 September 2002 ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT OCEAN CAY AND THE BIMINIS, THE BAHAMAS.

So where in Florida?

The 54-mile pipeline would transport up to 842 million cubic feet of natural gas a day. The pipeline would connect with the Florida Gas Transmission Co. pipeline system in Broward County, Florida.

What else is in Broward County, Florida?

Port Everglades Next Generation Clean Energy Center,

Success! On July 16, we demolished our 1960s-era Port Everglades Power Plant and in its place we are building a new, more fuel efficient plant that runs on clean, low-cost American natural gas. Construction is scheduled to begin in the first quarter of 2014 and when the new power plant comes online in 2016….

So the original idea was to import LNG through that Ocean Express pipeline to Florida. And apparently the government of the Bahamas was never convinced of that, despite U.S. pressure.

Candia Dames wrote for The Nassau Guardian 24 June 2011, Failed diplomacy in LNG bid,

A series of U.S. Embassy cables document the unsuccessful diplomatic maneuvers made over two administrations to get a go-ahead for liquified natural gas (LNG) pipelines from Florida to The Bahamas.

One of the cables obtained by The Nassau Guardian through the whistleblower organization WikiLeaks said that in 2009 AES Corporation proposed constructing an LNG pipeline from Ocean Cay near Bimini to New Providence at no cost.

According to a former AES representative, when this idea was presented to Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham, he PM said he “wouldn’t be pushed into doing it.”

AES eventually decided to forgo this idea due to technological challenges and associated costs, the 2009 cable said.

But nevermind the internal pipeline within The Bahamas. The terminus of that pipeline from Florida is the man-made island Ocean Cay, which, according to Wikimapia,

…and a undersea natural gas supply pipeline (designated as the AES Ocean Cay Pipeline) to the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) boundary. The Ocean Cay Pipeline will interconnect at the EEZ boundary with an undersea natural gas pipeline extending to delivery points in Broward County, Florida (Ocean Express Pipeline). The Ocean Express Pipeline (www.aesoceanexpress.com) will be constructed and operated by AES Ocean Express LLC, a U.S. affiliate of AES Ocean LNG, Ltd.

The project is being proposed by the U.S. Company, The AES Corporation, one of the world’s leading power companies.

The AES corporation constructed and currently operates an LNG terminal and natural gas pipeline at AES Andres in the Dominican Republic.

Catch that? Ocean Cay is outside the U.S. EEZ, and therefore outside the jurisdiction of FERC and U.S. DoE’s Office of Fossil Energy. So for export there’s no need for any further pipeline inside The Bahamas.

And here we go, an international push for The Bahamas for LNG export. Alison Lowe wrote for The Nassau Guardian 12 December 2013, IDB: Bahamas can benefit from gas ‘revolution’,

The Bahamas has been urged to partner with other Caribbean nations to reduce the cost of importing natural gas as a source of power generation, with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) suggesting that a shift to greater reliance on this fuel type could be an economic game changer for the region….

The Bahamas had an abortive experiment with the introduction natural gas, with a proposal by AES coportation to build an LNG pipeline from Florida to The Bahamas in 2009 fgailing to get off the ground….

The article quotes the IDB study abou the U.S. “shale gas revolution” aka fracking, and concludes:

“This supply surge has led previously planned LNG import projects to reinvent themselves as LNG export terminals, particularly in the U.S. Gulf Coast region.”

And look what’s been linked with the third pipeline in the series of Transco, Sabal Trail, and Florida Southeast Connection, in FPL parent NextEra Energy’s own Investor News , September 2013: and in news stories Palm Beach Post 26 December 2013,

FPL has natural gas-fired plants under construction at Cape Canaveral and Riviera Beach. They are slated for completion in June 2013 and June 2014 respectively. The company also plans to begin operating a new natural gas plant at Port Everglades in Broward County in 2016.

We’ve already seen FPL is already building a pipeline from the FSC endpoint to Riviera Beach, and two companies have LNG export authorization from that endpoint.

And there’s this AES Ocean Express undersea pipeline to The Bahamas from FPL’s Port Everglades “Clean Energy Center”. Maybe we’d better look at all of FPL’s Clean Energy Centers to see what other LNG export projects connect to them.

-jsq

4 thoughts on “Re: AES Ocean Express pipeline from Florida to Bahamas

  1. GREAT research on this! I talked to a gentleman in Bell who was part of the Riviera Beach project, who told me at least 80% of Sabal’s NG is slated for export. At this point, it’s just a matter of “opening the valve”. Have been so busy with family matters, I didn’t have time to follow up on his “lead”. NICELY DONE!!!

    1. Spoke to the same guy- I think it is actually more of a percentage slated for export- like the whole Lakeland thing is an excuse. Florida will not use this gas. Don’t need it. If we did why would it be set to fly out of here in a 46 inch pipeline?

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