November 16, 2007 / 10:44 PM / 12 years ago

Largest onshore LNG plant proposed in Florida

HOUSTON, Nov. 16 (Reuters) - Amid proposals for offshore liquefied natural gas import terminals, a company is planning to build the United States’ biggest inland LNG plant in Florida, an official told an energy conference Friday.

Floridian Natural Gas Storage LLC plans a facility in southeast Florida that would liquefy gas from pipelines and store it for later regasification and send out to users, partner Bradley Williams told a Rice University conference.

The company hopes to have Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approval by May to begin construction next summer and to start operations in 2011, Williams said. The cost estimate is $550 million.

Natural gas cooled to -260 degrees Fahrenheit (-162 degrees Celsius) becomes a liquid, which drastically reduces its volume and makes it easier to transport and store. When liquefied, 600 cubic feet of gas becomes one cubic foot of LNG.

Florida currently has no in-state natural gas storage facilities, though it leases some storage out of state, Williams said. He argued the state needs storage for service reliability and supply stability in the event of hurricanes.

Rather than coming from an LNG import facility, the gas would arrive at the Indiantown, Florida, site through existing pipelines into Florida, Williams said.

“It’s at a strategic location, at the end of the pipeline, downstream of pipeline bottlenecks,” Williams said.

Each of the storage tanks on site would be capable of holding 190,000 cubic meters of LNG, the equivalent of 4 billion cubic feet of gas, Williams said. The facility would be much larger than the 100 onshore LNG facilities already used to meet peak gas demand across the United States, Williams said. (Reporting by Bruce Nichols; Editing by Christian Wiessner)

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