Long Beach LNG permit process moves along
U.S. and state reports assessing the environmental impact of a proposed liquified natural gas import facility at the Port of Long Beach are scheduled to be completed in April or May, while local and federal authorities snipe about who has final say over the project.
Last May, Mitsubishi Corp. subsidiary Sound Energy Solutions applied to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to build a terminal on Terminal Island. The terminal is projected to provide California with 700 million cubic feet per day of natural gas, about 10 percent of the state’s demand for the fuel. About 70 ships a year would deliver LNG from Asia to the terminal, according to the port. The terminal would consist of an offloading dock, two storage tanks, regasification facilities, equipment for recovery of natural gas liquids and an LNG fuel-truck transfer facility.
The Port of Long Beach objected to a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission order issued March 24 in which the agency declared itself the final authority in the permit process. The FERC order followed a claim by the California Public Utilities Commission that it has jurisdiction over LNG facilities within its borders.
“There is no such thing as ‘exclusive jurisdiction’ for this project,” said Harbor Commission President John Hancock in a statement. “FERC approval is meaningless without a lease from Long Beach.”
The project also requires approval from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, an amendment to the Port’s land-use master plan from the California Coastal Commission and approval by the harbor commission.
Last year, the Port of Long Beach gave Sound Energy Solutions up to 37 months to seek permits and approvals for the LNG project. During this period, the port agreed that it would not consider other uses for the property.