Port Dolphin off Tampa already approved by FERC for LNG import

Offshore deepwater LNG import project Port Dolphin was approved by FERC in 2009, despite interventions by a long list of other pipeline companies, FPL, and other entities. FERC granted Port Dolphin permission to interconnect with Gulfstream and Florida Gas Transmission, the two pipelines FPL requires Sabal Trail to connect to. What if Port Dolphin files to export LNG, as so many other import-permitted projects are doing?

Port Dolphin’s own website doesn’t seem to be responding. The Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine has a cached copy from 12 January 2014, with this map:

Manatee Chamber of Commerce lists Port Dolphin’s contact information as:

400 N. Tampa St., Ste. 1015
Tampa, FL 33602
Mr. German Castro
(813) 514-1398 | fax: (813) 386-2069

Its parent company Höegh LNG AS of Norway has a map and brief writeup. If you zoom in on that map, you can see Port Dolphin’s pipeline making landfall at Port Manatee on the east side of Tampa Bay, with “Gulfstream Interconnect” marked on Piney Point Road. Here’s a google map with Port Manatee marked by the red A.

View Larger Map

Many interesting links in Downstream Today’s Port Dolphin page. Pipeline and Gas Journal, March 2011, Vol. 238 No. 3, PORT DOLPHIN ENERGY GETS KEY FLORIDA PERMITS FOR DEEPWATER LNG PORT, taken from Port Dolphin’s PR:

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) issued an Individual Environmental Resource Permit to build and operate the port and pipeline. Then-Gov. Charlie Crist and the Florida Cabinet voted in November to authorize issuance of a long-term easement on state-owned submerged lands to accommodate the undersea pipeline.

“The unloading facility will be located 28 miles southwest of Tampa Bay. The terminal’s pipeline will be capable of transporting up to 1.2 Bcf/d.

Here’s 129 FERC ¶ 61,199:

Before Commissioners: Jon Wellinghoff, Chairman;
Suedeen G. Kelly, Marc Spitzer,
and Philip D. Moeller.
Port Dolphin Energy LLCDocket Nos. CP07-191-000
(Issued December 3, 2009)
  1. On April 25, 2007, pursuant to section 7(c) of the Natural Gas Act (NGA), Port Dolphin Energy LLC (Port Dolphin) filed in Docket Nos. CP07-191-000 and CP07-192-000 an application seeking authority to construct and operate in Manatee County, Florida, the onshore portion of a natural gas pipeline associated with Port Dolphin’s proposed deepwater LNG port. Port Dolphin proposes to interconnect the onshore pipeline to an interstate and an intrastate pipeline. Port Dolphin also requests the necessary waivers of Commission regulations in order to operate the onshore pipeline on a sole-use basis. Finally, Port Dolphin requests a blanket construction certificate under Part 157, Subpart F of the Commission’s regulations.1
  2. On January 18, 2008, Port Dolphin filed in Docket No. CP07-191-001 an amendment to its application, proposing to reroute the proposed onshore pipeline.2 As a result of the amendment, the proposed pipeline would be 3.93 miles long rather than 5.83 miles long, as originally proposed. For the reasons discussed below, the Commission will issue the certificates requested by Port Dolphin and grant various waiver requests, subject to conditions.

1 18 C.F.R. Part 157, subpart F (2009).

2 Port Dolphin filed a supplement in Docket No. CP07-191-001 on January 16, 2009 to update its application as a result of ongoing discussions with local governmental officials and ongoing environmental and engineering surveys.

And on page 12:

The onshore facilities will give Port Dolphin the ability to connect with Gulfstream, TECO/Peoples and possibly Florida Gas in the future.

Let’s not forget FERC isn’t the only permitting agency for LNG import or export facilities. And no, not just U.S. DoE’s Office of Fossil Energy, either. There’s also MARAD.

MarineLink.com 12 July 2007, Port Dolphin Energy LNG DWP License Application,

The Maritime Administration (MARAD) issued a notice stating that the US Coast Guard intends to prepare an environmental impact statement as part of the environmental review of the application submitted by Port Dolphin Energy LLC for a license to construct and operate a liquefied natural gas (LNG) deepwater port (DWP). If approved, the LNG DWP would be located in federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico approximately 28 miles off the west coast of Florida. A meeting will be held in Palmetto, Florida on July 25 to receive public comment on this application. 72 Fed. Reg. 38116

What if Port Dolphin files for export instead? It’s already got interconnection permission for both of the pipelines FPL required Sabal Trail to connect to. Run methane backwards through them, and export away!

And what about that invervention by Gulstream Natural Gas, which is half-owned by Spectra, co-owner of Sabal Trail Transmission, LLC? Especially considering the other co-owner of Gulstream is Williams, Co., owner (100% as near as I can tell) of Transco and its Hillabee Expansion Project that Williams intends to supply methane to Sabal Trail? And why did even FPL intervene?


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