Venture Global LNG wants the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to swiftly authorize 24/7 construction activities on its Plaquemines LNG project in Louisiana in order for initial exports to begin flowing on the company's targeted end-of-year 2024 timeline.
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Venture Global, in a filing addressed to Acting Chairman Willie Phillips, requested that commission staff prepare an order authorizing the additional construction, and that the full commission act on the order as soon as it is ready -- either at the July 27 meeting or by issuing a notational order.
The company's request follows publication of a May 19 environmental assessment in which FERC concluded Venture Global's proposed construction amendment, which increases its peak workforce to approximately 6,000 workers daily from 3,600 and provides for a 24/7 construction schedule, would not have a significant environmental impact if paired with mitigation measures.
Imminent authorization of the construction amendment is necessary, Venture Global argued in the June 30 filing, in order keep the terminal on track to start incremental exports by the end of 2024 and to finalize construction on both phases of the 20 million mt/year by the end of 2026.
Earlier documents identified the end of 2025 as the targeted completion date for the terminal.
"Beyond the consideration of the minor environmental impacts, there can be no possible doubt that Commission approval of the proposed Amendment is 'not contrary to the public interest,'" the company said, citing the Natural Gas Act's standard.
Venture Global added that timely construction of the export terminal would supplement the success of its facility at Calcasieu Pass in supplying liquefied natural gas to allied countries and also drew attention to the Biden administration's support for increasing exports of LNG to Europe to make up for reduced pipeline flows from Russia.
Green NGOs dissuade approval
Environmental and conservation groups have challenged the conclusions FERC reached in its May 19 environmental assessment and requested supplemental environmental analysis to reconsider the impact of additional construction activity to emergency response capabilities, local traffic congestion, as well as to air and noise pollution.
In June 20 comments responding to FERC's environmental assessment, Healthy Gulf, Sierra Club and Louisiana Bucket Brigade alleged the commission's consideration of the impacts of 24/7 construction on air quality was inadequately thorough.
"The EA asserts without much explanation that any fugitive dust associated with the Amendment activities would be properly mitigated through the approved fugitive dust suppression measures analyzed in the 2019 [final environmental impact statement]. However, these mitigation measures do not account for the additional emissions which will result from an increase in traffic from additional vehicles," the groups said.