Excelerate Energy (Excelerate) has obtained authorization from the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to, in cooperation with the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA), site, construct, and operate the proposed Aguirre Offshore GasPort Project located offshore Puerto Rico.
The order confirms the final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) that showed that there was no significant environmental impact from the project after an extensive review process that began in December of 2011.
“We are pleased to receive the order from FERC after nearly four years of extensive environmental review,” stated Rob Bryngelson, Excelerate’s chief executive officer. “During this time, Excelerate has not diminished its efforts to deliver the beneficial Aguirre Offshore project, nor has the company wavered in its support for PREPA’s and the Government of Puerto Rico.”
“The order represents an important milestone in the development of the project,” stated PREPA’s interim executive director, Carlos Castro. “This project is critical for PREPA to reduce the cost of energy in Puerto Rico and to reduce the emission of air pollutants.”
The proposed project will be a floating liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal, consisting of a floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU), minimal infrastructure to moor the vessel, and a subsea pipeline to deliver the gas onshore.
The facility will provide fuel to PREPA’s Central Aguirre Power Complex. Fuel cost reduction and environmental improvements, such as improved air quality and reduced barge traffic in the environmentally sensitive Jobos Bay, are the primary drivers for bringing the Project to Puerto Rico, according to Excelerate.
In the coming months, Excelerate said it would continue to work with FERC and cooperating agencies in preparation for the commencement of construction, which is estimated to begin in the first quarter of 2016, with an in-service date of the second quarter of 2017.