Oregon LNG Project Inches Forward
Oregon’s Jordan Cove LNG project moved forward November 15 with the issuance of a final environmental impact statement (FEIS) by staff of the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (Ferc).
But the 7.5mn mt/yr liquefaction and export terminal, on the shores of Coos Bay, remains far from a final investment decision by its Canadian owner, Pembina Pipeline. Key state permits, the company said in a November 18 statement, are still missing, although the Ferc FEIS clearly shows that the project is environmentally compliant.
“While community support and the Ferc FEIS represent significant forward momentum, state permits remain a critical component of the regulatory and environmental compliance process to move this important economic decision forward,” Pembina said.
In May, the project was denied a key water quality certification by Oregon’s Department of Environmental Quality, just days after Pembina revealed in its 1Q 2019 financial report that it would pause work on the estimated US$10bn project while it pursued key state and federal approvals. Pembina expects to refile for the water quality certification in January 2020, but suspending work not related to permits, the company said, would still set commissioning back at least a year, to 2025.
A final order from Ferc approving the project is expected in February 2020.
In the FEIS, Ferc staff concluded that Jordan Cove and its companion Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline would result in temporary, long-term and permanent impacts on the environment, many of which would not be significant or could be reduced to less than significant levels by following proposed and/or recommended impact avoidance, minimisation and mitigation measures.
At the same time, however, the FEIS says the project is likely to adversely affect 15 federally-listed or proposed threatened and endangered species, including coho salmon, marbled murrelet (a small sea-bird native to the US Pacific Northwest that nests in old-growth forest) and northern spotted owl.