LNG's swirling sea: Export hopefuls face new year of global demand shifts
For the expanding roster of companies vying to export LNG from North America, 2017 will be a year of watching domestic policy and demand shifts overseas to see whether and when the glutted market will have room for the volumes of U.S. and Canadian LNG proposed by developers.
With incremental U.S. export capacity expected from two additional liquefaction trains at Cheniere Energy Inc.'s Sabine Pass and the coming online of the Dominion Cove Point LNG LP export terminal, developers and industry observers will be waiting to see how the long list of planned projects will fit into the global marketplace.
The list keeps growing. Though just one of Canada's several LNG projects proposed for British Columbia has received a final investment decision, export terminals like Pacific NorthWest LNG and LNG Canada would pump more volumes into the market if developers opt to move forward.
Nova Scotia approves gas pipeline to Bear Head LNG terminal
A pipeline that is designed to supply natural gas to the Bear Head LNG export terminal in Nova Scotia was approved by the province's Department of Environment, which developers had said was "essential" for the project to move forward.
Nova Scotia's Environment Minister Margaret Miller said in a Dec. 22 order that she was satisfied that any significant environmental effects could be mitigated through conditions attached to the approval. The 38.8-mile pipeline, known as Bear Paw, will carry gas from Goldboro, Nova Scotia, to the terminal on Cape Breton.
HECO resource plan targets move to 100% renewables ahead of schedule
The Hawaiian Electric Cos. have released an updated near-term action plan that suggests the state can meet a 100% renewable target sooner than 2045.
Hawaiian Electric Co. Inc., Maui Electric Co. Ltd. and Hawaii Electric Light Co. Inc., referred to as the HECO companies, said increased use of renewable energy and demand response between 2017 and 2021 can position the state to reach the 100% renewable portfolio standard, or RPS, by 2040. In aggregate, the plan estimates that the state needs 326 MW of rooftop solar, 31 MW of feed-in tariff solar projects, roughly 115 MW of demand response, 360 MW of grid-scale photovoltaic solar and 157 MW of grid-scale wind capacity.
In developing the plan, HECO had modeled various scenarios including the use of liquified natural gas, or LNG, and building the Kahe combined cycle project, but the latest plan leaves those resources out over the next five years. "While LNG remains a potential lower-cost bridge fuel to be evaluated, the companies' priority is to continue replacing fossil fuel generation with renewables over the next five years as federal tax incentives for renewables begin to phase out," HECO said.
FERC lets Cheniere companies introduce gas to pipeline to Sabine Pass
FERC granted Cheniere Energy Inc. affiliates' request to introduce natural gas to the East Meter Pipe project that will feed the Sabine Pass LNG export terminal.
The Dec. 22 order allows Sabine Pass Liquefaction LLC and Sabine Pass LNG LP to begin commissioning activities for the project, which will transport 2,100 MMcf/d from Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Co. LLC facilities to the existing feed gas header pipe at the terminal. The project is related to Transco's Gulf Trace expansion project.
Venture Global to spend $8.5B on Plaquemines LNG project in Louisiana
The developer of the Plaquemines LNG export terminal will invest $8.5 billion in the Louisiana project, which is expected to send an official application to FERC after the new year.
Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards and Venture Global LNG executives announced the price tag in a Dec. 21 statement that lauded the project's creation of 250 direct jobs. Venture Global Plaquemines LNG LLC and Venture Global Gator Express LLC said in a monthly status update that a formal application for the terminal and associated pipeline is now expected in late January. The developers had previously anticipated filing by year-end.