FERC suspends Kenai LNG environmental review

The US FERC is temporarily suspending an environmental assessment of a proposal to bring the closed Kenai LNG plant in Alaska back online as an import facility.

FERC said on April 8 it would suspend the environmental review for the project until the U.S. Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration performs an “equivalency determination” related to a proposed vaporizer at the facility.

Marathon’s unit Trans-Foreland Pipeline proposes to the PHMSA to have the trim vaporizer within the LNG storage tank impoundment area.

FERC previously expected to issue an assessment for the Kenai import project on April 24. After that, the agency planned to make a decision by July 23.

The agency will now issue a revised schedule for the project once it can review the PHMSA documents, it said.

FERC said that this was not a suspension of its review of Trans-Foreland’s project.

“Staff will continue to process Trans-Foreland’s proposal to the extent possible based upon the information it has filed to date,” the agency said.

The fuel would go to an adjacent refinery

Trans Foreland filed an application with FERC back in March 2019.

It plans to make modifications to bring parts of Kenai LNG out of its current “warm idle status” to allow for imports.

The Kenai LNG cool down project would allow the plant to provide up to 7 million standard cubic feet per day of gas.

The fuel would be supplied to Trans-Foreland’s affiliated Kenai refinery adjacent to the LNG plant.

Trans-Foreland plans to add a new electric-driven boil-off-gas booster compressor unit, trim vaporizers and additional LNG transfer system valves.

ConocoPhillips sold the Kenai facility to a unit of Andeavor in February 2018.

Marathon completed its purchase of Andeavor in October 2018.

The Kenai plant was the only LNG export facility in North America for 47 years.

This was until Cheniere’s Sabine Pass export terminal in Louisiana entered service in February 2016.

The Kenai facility has not exported LNG cargoes since the fourth quarter of 2015.

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