Ferc gives boost to Cheniere LNG project

The Corpus Christi site is located on the La Quinta Channel on the northeast side of Corpus Christi Bay in San Patricio County, Texas

Cheniere Energy's Corpus Christi liquefaction project took an important step towards approval as a US regulatory body concluded the proposed facility would not pose a significant environmental risk.

In a draft environmental impact statement, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (Ferc) found that "approval of the proposed project, with appropriate mitigating measures... would ensure that impacts in the project area would be avoided or minimised and would not be significant".

"Construction and operation of the project would result in mostly temporary and short-term environmental impacts," Ferc said.

"However, some long-term and permanent environmental impacts would occur."

Among the permanent effects would be the loss of more than 25 acres of wetlands, although measures outlined in Cheniere's impact study will minimise any further impacts on wetlands, Ferc said.

Corpus Christi LNG will export a planned 782 billion cubic feet per annum of liquefied gas.

The $10.8 billion project includes three liquefaction trains, as well as vapourisation facilities. It also includes 23 miles of new 48-inch-diameter natural gas pipeline and two compressor stations.

Construction is expected to start next year pending permitting and a final investment decision, with first deliveries scheduled for 2018.

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