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Lloyds List: Broadwater Project the facts: TransCanada and Shell are sponsors of the Broadwater Project, which visualises a floating liquefied natural gas terminal in Long Island Sound.: Thursday December 08, 2005

 

- TransCanada and Shell are sponsors of the Broadwater Project, which visualises a floating liquefied natural gas terminal in Long Island Sound.

 

- The terminal would be at the mid-point of the widest portion of the Sound, about nine miles off Riverhead, New York and 11 miles from Connecticut.

 

- A 25 mile sub-sea pipeline would connect the terminal to the Iroquois pipeline that currently brings natural gas to supply the New York and Connecticut markets.

 

- The New York and Connecticut regions currently consume 3.8bn cu ft of gas per day, and much more on cold winter days. Broadwater is promising to send out 1bn cu ft a day to the local markets, with the first delivery scheduled for 2010 if all goes to plan.

 

- Broadwater would consist of a 'ship-like vessel', or a Floating Storage Regasification Unit moored in the Sound, 1,200 ft long and 180 ft wide about the size of the Queen Mary 2 and rising 75-100 ft above water.

 

- Lt Commander Alan Blume of the US Coast Guard Sector Long Island Sound told Lloyd's List this would be classified as an 'offshore structure'.

 

- The FSRU would be built at a yet-to-be-determined shipyard, towed to location and attached to a mooring system. It would receive LNG shipments from vessels every two or three days.

 

- The mooring system would cover 7,000 sq ft on the sea floor, about the size of a US basketball court.

 

- The ships would take four hours on the inbound transit, four hours outbound, and, according to local opinion, a 24-hour stay at the terminal. The actual transfer of LNG is expected to take 12-15 hours.

 

- The Coast Guard will apply a safety exclusion zone around the ships. Lt Commander Blume said the size or width of this zone around the ships is still being determined.

 

- A safety zone established for the Cove Point LNG terminal in Maryland extends to a diameter of about 500 m. Broadwater expects the safety zone surrounding its FSRU to be 'one square mile'.

 

- The FSRU, for its part, will have onboard storage of 8bn cu ft of gas, or 350,000 cu m of LNG, which will be held in double-hull tanks using membrane technology.

 

- It will vapourise the LNG using 'submerged combustion vapourisation', a choice of technology that takes into account the non-viability of using sea water from the relatively cool temperatures in the Sound.

 

- The FSRU will have an economic life of 30 years.

 

- Although technically 'offshore', the Broadwater Project is still 'within US coastal limits' and hence deemed to be under the permitting jurisdiction of the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which dispenses approvals for conventional shore-based sites, and not the Coast Guard, which permits offshore sites.

 

- Broadwater has already gone through the FERC's National Environmental Policy Act Pre-File Process in order to engage and convince local 'stakeholders', apparently with limited to no success.

 

- Broadwater now expects to file the FERC permit application by the year end. A FERC decision is not expected until late-2006 or 2007, according to current Broadwater estimates.

 

- Broadwater would also need to secure land use, water, air, fisheries and other environmental permits from federal authorities including the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the US Fish and Wildlife Service, the Environmental Protection Agency and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.

 

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