Annova LNG submitted its application to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) on Wednesday, July 13.
The application FERC will be available at www.FERC.gov. The docket number is CP16-480-000.
Liquefied natural gas, or LNG, is natural gas that has been cooled until it becomes a liquid, making it easier and more efficient to store and ship. LNG is non-flammable and will not explode. The natural gas will reach the proposed LNG transfer facility through a pipeline to interconnection facilities within the Project site.
Brownsville offers land availability, proximity to natural gas reserves, industrial and commercial infrastructure, and shipping channel access. In addition, the Rio Grande Valley has a pool of skilled workers to construct and operate the plant. All of this makes Brownsville the right choice to be considered for Annova LNG.
The project depends upon Annova LNG successfully obtaining all necessary local, state, and federal permits; sufficient long-term customer commitments to buy liquefied natural gas from the facility; and broad public support of the project in South Texas.
A decision whether to build the facility is expected in 2018 with initial site development and construction potentially beginning in the second quarter of 2018.
Exelon and Annova LNG are exploring the development of a mid-scale natural gas liquefaction and transfer facility at the Port of Brownsville. If built, the Annova LNG Brownsville Project would be a much-needed economic boost for Brownsville and the Rio Grande Valley. One way or another, natural gas is to be exported from South Texas in any number of ways. We should get behind this LNG transfer facility to diversify our local economy so our communities receive the benefits. The project has been designed with a footprint that minimizes environmental impacts and meets or exceeds safety standards. To become a reality, Annova LNG must clear three hurdles: successfully complete all regulatory application, review, and permitting processes; secure long term customers; and enjoy broad public support.
Exelon Generation actively explores all opportunities to expand on and diversify our role in the energy business. The project would provide Exelon Generation an opportunity to continue the growth of its wholesale gas and gas distribution businesses. Natural gas export is an area in the energy business that shows strong growth potential.
Annova LNG is talking to a number of potential customers, but it's too early to provide further details.
Construction would support an average monthly workforce of 700 over 50 months. Once operational, the project would support 165 jobs with an average salary of $70,000 per year.
Exelon would invest $3 billion to construct and operate the facility. In addition, the project could provide more than $61 million in state and local taxes annually during operation.
An agreement was signed Wednesday, May 7, 2014, and the transfer of control of Annova's DOE export authorization to Exelon has been approved by the Department of Energy.
Construction of the project would occur over 50 months and would support an average of 700 on-site jobs. Once operational, the facility would employ about 165 workers at an average salary of about $70,000 a year.
The Annova LNG Brownsville Project is committed to working with the community to address safety or environmental concerns associated with the project, including endangered species.
Annova LNG will abide by the rigorous approval process of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and federal and state permitting processes to ensure safety and minimize environmental impacts.
LNG plants have operated for more than 50 years without an incident that affected the public's safety. In the LNG industry worldwide there have been more than 38,000 voyages by LNG ships, covering more than 60 million miles. LNG is not flammable, nor will it explode. If spilled, LNG will not mix with water or soil but instead quickly vaporizes and dissipates into the atmosphere leaving no residue. It dissipates as natural gas, and is no different from the natural gas used for heating and cooking in thousands of homes and in the hundreds of pipelines that have crisscrossed Cameron County for years. The closest residence is more than two miles from the Annova LNG site and the closest population center is over five miles away.
The Annova LNG Brownsville Project must meet standards for public safety and environmental protection established by numerous local, state, and federal authorities, including: Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, U.S. Department of Energy, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, Texas Fish and Wildlife Department, and Cameron County. The effectiveness of current safety rules and standards designed to protect the public, workers, and the environment has been confirmed by a report commissioned by the U.S. Coast Guard and Department of Energy.
The safety features of the LNG transfer facility are designed to keep any impact from hazardous materials inside the fence line of the facility. These features are further discussed in Resource Report 11, "Reliability and Safety," of the FERC application.
Annova has also designed the facility to accommodate a wildlife corridor on the western side of the project site to facilitate wildlife movement through the site, including the endangered ocelot. Additional avoidance, minimization, and mitigation measures for threatened and endangered species can be found in Resource Report 3, "Fish, Wildlife, and Vegetation," of the FERC application.
A variety of factors will guide the decision-making process. The organization only will make a final decision to move forward if certain conditions are met, including Annova LNG successfully obtaining all necessary local, state, and federal permits; sufficient long-term customer commitments to buy liquefied natural gas from the facility; and broad public support of the project in South Texas. A decision whether to build the facility is expected in 2018.
It is impossible to speculate at this point what specific price is required, given the variety of factors that will influence Annova's decision to move forward. These factors include FERC approval, the state of electrical and gas supply, economic considerations, firm customers, and broad community support.
Annova LNG is committed to an open, transparent relationship with the community, and the organization's leaders look forward to getting to know much of the Brownsville community. We will be providing information to the public regularly, using social media, meeting with community groups, updating the website (www.RGVforLNG.com), and holding events where people can meet our representatives. As the lead agency for the Environmental Impact Statement, FERC will also provide notice of any public meetings for that process.
Exelon expects this project will support an average of 675 direct on-site Texas workers per year during the facility's construction. These jobs include construction contractors, project managers, and engineers. Of this total, an estimated 447 direct jobs will be located within Cameron County. If completed, the facility will directly employ 165 workers at the Brownsville site, most of whom will live locally. These employees would earn an estimated average base wage of $70,000. Including benefits, these 165 employees would earn an average of $105,000 each year.
Exelon Generation operates in a world rich in diversity - in race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, religious affiliation, experience and thought. To achieve our vision to be the best, we value diversity by:
- Integrating diversity and inclusion as a business imperative and a core value
- Attracting, retaining, and advancing employees who will best serve and represent our customers, partners, and communities
- Providing a workplace that ensures we respect one another and that each of us has the opportunity to grow and contribute at our greatest potential
Our diversity goals:
- Diverse & Inclusive Workforce - To attract, develop, and retain talent of all backgrounds that reflects the realities of our marketplace, our communities, and the relevant labor market
- Inclusive Workplace - To create a culture of inclusion through consistent and sustained execution of the Exelon Diversity & Inclusion Strategy, including progress measurement and accountability for results
- Diverse Suppliers - Achieve a diverse range of suppliers, vendors, and service providers
- Community Relationships - Ensure that Exelon leadership has a significant reach and visible presence in a strategic core group of diverse, community-based organizations
- Leader in Diversity & Inclusion - To position Exelon to be recognized as a diversity and inclusion leader by its employees; by local, regional, and national thought leaders; and by the communities it serves
As the project progresses, visit www.exeloncorp.com for permanent positions. Once Exelon Generation and Annova LNG decide to move forward with construction, visit local job boards in South Texas for construction positions.
Before Exelon decides to move forward, a number of evaluation criteria need to be met, including obtaining all necessary local, state, and federal permits; acquisition of sufficient long-term customer commitments to buy liquefied natural gas from the facility; and broad public support of the project in South Texas.