Broadwater Energy LLC, 032008 FERC, CP06-54-000

Docket Nº:CP06-54-000, CP06-55-000, CP06-56-000
Party Name:Broadwater Energy LLC Broadwater Pipeline LLC
Judge Panel:Before Commissioners: Joseph T. Kelliher, Chairman, Suedeen G. Kelly, Marc Spitzer, Philip D. Moeller, and Jon Wellinghoff. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary. Philip D. Moeller Commissioner, Concurring:
Case Date:March 20, 2008
Court:Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
 
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122 FERC ¶ 61, 255

Broadwater Energy LLC

Broadwater Pipeline LLC

Nos. CP06-54-000, CP06-55-000, CP06-56-000

United States of America, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

March 20, 2008

Before Commissioners: Joseph T. Kelliher, Chairman, Suedeen G. Kelly, Marc Spitzer, Philip D. Moeller, and Jon Wellinghoff.

ORDER GRANTING AUTHORITY UNDER SECTION 3 OF THE NATURAL GAS ACT AND ISSUING CERTIFICATES

1. On January 30, 2006, in Docket No. CP06-54-000, Broadwater Energy LLC (Broadwater Energy) filed an application under section 3 of the Natural Gas Act (NGA) and Part 153 of the Commission’s regulations to site, construct, and operate a liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminal and associated facilities in Long Island Sound, approximately nine miles from the shore of Long Island, New York. Concurrently, in Docket No. CP06-55-000, Broadwater Pipeline LLC (Broadwater Pipeline), an affiliate of Broadwater LNG, 1 filed an application under section 7(c) of the NGA and Part 157 of the Commission’s regulations for a certificate of public convenience and necessity to construct, own, and operate a 21.7-mile long, 30-inch diameter pipeline lateral from the outlet of the LNG terminal to a subsea interconnection with the Iroquois Gas Transmission System (Iroquois). The project, referred to as the Broadwater Project, has a daily design capacity of 1.0 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) and a peak winter deliverability of 1.25 Bcf/d. In addition, in Docket No. CP06-56-000, Broadwater Pipeline requests a blanket certificate under subpart F of Part 157 of the Commission’s regulations to perform certain routine construction activities and operations. Broadwater Pipeline also requests a waiver of the open-access requirements of Part 284 of the Commission’s regulations in order to permit the proposed pipeline to be operated on a proprietary basis.

2. There has been considerable opposition to the proposed project by state and local government agencies, public officials, non-governmental organizations, and members of the public. The primary concerns raised relate to whether there is a need for the project, public safety and security, and impacts to Long Island Sound. These concerns have been addressed at length in the final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) issued on January 11, 2008. We have carefully reviewed the information and analysis contained in the final EIS and we agree with the conclusions presented in the final EIS that construction and operation of the Broadwater Project, with the adoption of the proposed mitigation measures, would result in only limited adverse environmental impacts. We also conclude that the project is needed to meet the projected energy needs for the New York City, Long Island and Connecticut markets. Therefore, we will grant the requested authorizations subject to the conditions described in this order.

I. Proposals

3. Broadwater states that the purpose of the Broadwater Project is to establish an LNG terminal capable of receiving, storing, and regasifying imported LNG to provide a new source of reliable, long-term, and competitively-priced natural gas to the Long Island, New York City, and Connecticut markets by connecting to the existing interstate pipeline system. Broadwater Energy and Broadwater Pipeline are limited liability companies formed to develop, construct, and own the LNG terminal and pipeline, respectively.

A. LNG Terminal Proposal in Docket No. CP06-54-000

4. Broadwater Energy seeks authorization under section 3 of the NGA to site, construct, and operate an LNG receiving terminal that will consist of a floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU) that is approximately 1, 215 feet long and 200 feet wide and that rises approximately 80 feet above the water line to the trunk deck. Broadwater Energy states that the FSRU will consist of:

• a single berth capable of receiving and unloading LNG carriers with capacities ranging from 125, 000 cubic meters (m3) to 250, 000 m3;

• eight LNG storage tanks that will be able to store a net capacity of approximately 350, 000 m3 which is equivalent to 2.2 million barrels or 8 Bcf of regasified LNG;

• a regasification plant designed with a base vaporization capacity of 1.0 Bcf/d and a peak capacity of 1.25 Bcf/d of natural gas using a closed-loop shell-and-tube vaporization system;

• a yoke mooring system (YMS) that will be incorporated into the bow section of the FSRU that will moor the FSRU to a fixed tower (YMS tower) and allow the FSRU to pivot or weathervane around the tower and to withstand events exceeding a 100-year storm condition;2

• a nitrogen plant that will add nitrogen to the natural gas send-out to meet the Wobbe index3 requirements of Iroquois’ tariff;

• power generation; and

• an accommodation area to house crew members and provide space for telecommunications, electric machinery, stores, and other functions.

5. The proposed LNG import terminal will be located in Long Island Sound, in a water depth of approximately 90 feet, approximately 9 miles off the coast of Riverhead, Suffolk County, New York, in New York State waters. Broadwater Energy states that the nearest onshore point in Connecticut is approximately 10.2 miles from the proposed terminal location. Broadwater Energy anticipates that, based on the expected throughput of the project and the capacity of the LNG carriers, two or three carriers per week will arrive at the FSRU, with an anticipated average of 118 carriers per year. Broadwater Energy states that the entire capacity of the FSRU will be subscribed by Shell NA LNG (Shell).

6. Broadwater maintains that it has mitigated potential adverse environmental impacts by siting the project in the central portion of the Long Island Sound, away from sensitive shoreline and near-shore ecosystems. Broadwater also states that population density within 1-mile and 10-mile radii of the project site is non-existent or extremely low. Broadwater also notes that it has worked with users of the Long Island Sound, government agencies, public officials, and other stakeholders to identify issues and respond to them.

7. Because it is a floating structure, the FSRU itself would not require any seabottom. However, the Coast Guard has identified the need for a safety and security zone around the FSRU and YMS tower. Specifically, the Coast Guard has proposed a combined safety and security zone encompassing the area within a 1, 210-yard (0.7 mile) radius from the center of the YMS tower. Vessels not related to the project would not be permitted to enter this area, and the seafloor beneath the safety and security zone therefore would be converted to project use for the life of the project.

B. Pipeline Proposal in Docket No. CP06-55-000

1. Proposed Facilities

8. Broadwater Pipeline requests authority pursuant to section 7(c) of the NGA to construct, own, and operate a 21.7-mile long, 30-inch diameter subsea pipeline and related facilities that would deliver vaporized natural gas from the FSRU to an offshore connection with the existing Iroquois pipeline that extends across Long Island Sound. Broadwater Pipeline states that the pipeline facilities will be connected to the FSRU through a 30-inch diameter pipeline riser within the YMS tower that will be secured to the seafloor by four legs. The pipeline riser will interconnect with the subsea pipeline at the sea floor. In addition to supporting the pipeline riser, Broadwater Pipeline states that the tower will also house and support the system that will secure the FSRU and allow it to orient to the prevailing wind, wave, and current conditions around the tower.

9. Broadwater Pipeline proposes to connect its proposed 30-inch-diameter pipeline to the existing 24-inch-diameter Iroquois pipeline by installing a hot tap connection that would allow the connection without shutting down the Iroquois pipeline. Additional facilities include a permanent pig launcher to be installed as a part of the tower and facilities at the proposed subsea interconnect with Iroquois that would allow the attachment of a pig receiver.4

10. The daily design capacity of the pipeline facilities will be 1.0 Bcf/d, with a maximum capacity of 1.25 Bcf/d based on constraints provided by Iroquois at the interconnect point.5 Broadwater Pipeline states that Shell will subscribe to the entire capacity of the pipeline, in addition to subscribing to the full capacity of the terminal. Broadwater Pipeline did not hold an open season because it is seeking to operate the pipeline on a proprietary basis.

11. As proposed, construction of the pipeline and the connection with the Iroquois pipeline would disturb about 197.3 acres and an additional 2, 036 acres would be temporarily affected by anchor placement and anchor line sweep associated with movement of the lay barge. Approximately 78.9 acres of the total acres used for pipeline construction would be permanent pipeline right-of-way, and the remaining 2, 156.6 acres would be allowed to revert to former use. However, Commission staff has recommended that Broadwater use mid-line buoys on all anchor cables during construction, or alternatively, use a dynamically positioned lay barge. Both alternatives would substantially reduce cable sweep impacts on the seafloor and we adopt these recommendations in this order.

2. Request for Waiver of the Commission’s Open-Access Requirements

12. Broadwater Pipeline seeks authorization to permit the proposed pipeline to be operated as a single-use pipeline and requests waiver of the Commission’s Part 284 open-access regulations. In support, Broadwater Pipeline states that it will only have one point of receipt (the FSRU) and one point of delivery (the subsea interconnection with Iroquois) and therefore asserts that the pipeline can only be used...

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