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U.S. regulators have approved a $306-million Kinder Morgan proposal to add liquefaction and export capability to its Elba Island LNG Terminal, also giving it the go-ahead to upgrade existing pipelines for the project.
The Elba Island LNG terminal near Savannah, Georgia, will provide about 2.4 mtpa of export capacity, or about 350 million cubic feet per day.
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The U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) approved the company’s plan to launch the first of 10 liquefaction units in the second quarter of 2018, with the remaining nine units slated to come online in about two years.
FERC's analysis concluded that the environmental effects of the construction and operation of the project would not significantly affect the environment.
Kinder Morgan also campaigned heavily on the promise to create 100 permanent jobs and earn the government more than $10 million in extra tax revenue annually.
The project has met with criticism from environmental groups and local residents concerned about chemical transportation and storage. Their concerns also include additional 10,000 trucks per month on local roads that would carry in construction materials.
A year ago, Kinder Morgan purchased the remaining 49 percent of shares in the project from Shell for $630 million, but Shell kept the 20-year contracts to buy the LNG from the terminal. Previously, KMI held 51 percent interest in the project. The purchase brought Kinder Morgan’s total investment in the liquefaction and terminal facilities at Elba Island to approximately $2.1 billion.
By Charles Kennedy of Oilprice.com
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Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com