Magnolia LNG takes another step in quest to build plant in Lake Charles

By By Frank DiCesare / American Press

Magnolia LNG officials announced this week that they have submitted their 13 resource reports to the Federal Energy Regulatory

Commission, a major step in the company’s quest to build an exporting plant in Lake Charles.

Magnolia’s 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 reports form the

basis of Magnolia’s environmental impact statement to FERC,

a vital part of the commission’s prefiling process.

FERC is the federal agency charged with enforcing the National Environmental Policy Act on all companies that seek to build

an LNG plant. An LNG company’s EIS is its way of showing compliance with NEPA guidelines.

“This is the midway point of completing the FERC permitting process so the facility can be constructed,” said Ernie Megginson,

Magnolia’s vice president of project management.

FERC will review all of Magnolia’s reports and provide feedback. The commission will work with Magnolia officials to redraft

the reports so they settle any concerns that may have arisen during the review process.

Megginson said FERC’s review process is expected to go into March.

“This is the time when FERC works with

us,” he added. “This is their opportunity to comment on our documents

before they go

public. They want to identify any issues before they allow (the

reports) to go public. We have to satisfy their concerns before

they allow us to go into the official filing period, which can

take anywhere from 12 to 18 months to complete.”

Once Magnolia’s reports have been redrafted, Megginson said, a FERC consultant will compile the company’s EIS based on their

13 resource reports. The EIS is then published for public comment.

During the filing period, Megginson added, FERC will solicit comments from various parties — which will be part of the NEPA

finalization process the commission manages for the LNG industry.

“The filing period is a very strict public environmental assessment and review of the project,” Megginson said. “(Our file)

then gets published in the federal records accessible to everybody.”

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. The

facility will also have a berth jetty where ships will dock to

receive LNG from the plant for export.

Megginson said Magnolia officials are targeting mid-2015 for FERC’s approval and notice to proceed with construction.

“We’re building the project,” he said. “You’re seeing the basic building blocks of the project coming together. As we proceed

into 2014, there’s a lot of work that still needs to be done, but that’s the way these major projects are put together.”