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An artist's rendition of the proposed Magnolia LNG plant. (Special to the American Press)

An artist's rendition of the proposed Magnolia LNG plant. (Special to the American Press)

Magnolia LNG to apply for FERC, DEQ and Army Corps permits

Last Modified: Tuesday, April 22, 2014 10:20 AM

By Frank DiCesare / American Press

Magnolia LNG officials will submit three major applications with state and federal agencies next week, bringing their multi-billion project a few steps closer to reality.

Ernie Megginson, Magnolia’s vice president of project management, said the company will submit its formal application to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for a construction permit and a separate application for an air permit with the state Department of Environmental Quality. Both applications will be sent out April 30. 

The company will also apply for a dredging permit next week with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Megginson said the company is looking to dredge the site’s berthing pocket for its export ships. 

The berthing pocket will run alongside Magnolia’s two storage tanks.

Magnolia officials submitted their 13 draft resource reports on the project to FERC in November. The reports cover a broad scope of the project’s environmental and engineering aspects, including water use and quality, air and noise quality, and soils information.  

The commission responded to the reports with more than 200 questions and comments. Megginson said Magnolia officials must respond to all of them and redraft the resource reports before they make their formal application next week.

“We’re confident that we’re going to get everything done by the end of this week in the draft form,” he added. “Once you get into the formal application process everything is documented. It’s not the informal discussions you’ve had before. Right now I can pick up the phone and call FERC. After May 1, I can’t do that. Everything has to be in writing.”

Magnolia’s estimated $3.7 billion project will consist of four LNG trains, which will be built on 120 acres near the intersection of Henry Pugh Boulevard and Big Lake Road in Lake Charles. Each train will produce 2 million tons per year of LNG, which will be stored in two, 160,000-cubic-meter cryogenic tanks.

Magnolia will be the third LNG company this year to apply for FERC’s construction permit. Earlier this year, Sempra Energy officials applied for FERC’s permit to expand their Cameron LNG plant in Hackberry. 

Three weeks ago, Trunkline LNG officials announced that their FERC application had been submitted to expand their plant, which is located directly across from Magnolia’s proposed project site on the Industrial Canal. Megginson said Magnolia and Trunkline are “neck and neck” in FERC’s permitting pipeline.

After Magnolia makes its formal application to FERC, the commission and their consultants will then begin redrafting the company’s resource reports into a draft environmental impact statement, Megginson said. He added that Magnolia anticipates FERC’s statement on the project to be issued in November.

Once the commission completes Magnolia’s DEIS, a date for a public meeting on the project will be scheduled. Megginson said the company is also looking to hold an open house this fall with executives from the Kinder Morgan Louisiana Pipeline, who will be supporting the Magnolia project by building a compressor station near Eunice.

In January, Magnolia officials announced they had signed a precedent agreement with Kinder Morgan Louisiana Pipeline, LLC. The binding agreement secures Magnolia’s gas transportation service rights on the pipeline.

“(Kinder Morgan) has to go through their own FERC process, which will be incorporated into our DEIS,” Megginson said. “Their FERC application and our FERC application will be submitted separately, but they will be dovetailed into the same DEIS.”

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