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Permits Issued for First Offshore LNG Regasification Facility

Release Date: 6/29/2004
Contact Information: For more information contact the Office of External Affairs at (214) 665-2200.

      The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has issued air and water permits for the El Paso Energy Bridge, an offshore deep water liquefied natural gas (LNG) receiving, storage and regasification facility, to be operated 116 nautical miles offshore of Louisiana.  The Energy Bridge facility is unique because the LNG will be regasified onboard the transport vessels prior to its transfer to the natural gas pipeline network in the Gulf of Mexico.  EPA's permits set limits for air emissions and water discharges associated with the industrial operation while the vessel is moored to the transfer buoy.

      "The Energy Bridge terminal will help address the nation's demand for clean sources of energy," EPA Regional Administrator Richard E. Greene said. "Working with the other federal and state regulatory agencies involved, we have crafted permits that ensure this facility will operate with little impact on the environment."

      LNG is natural gas that has been chilled to -260 degrees Fahrenheit.  LNG received at the Energy Bridge will be chilled at its point of origin overseas.  The project will allow offshore conversion of LNG onboard seagoing vessels into its gaseous state, so that it can enter the existing interstate natural gas pipeline network in southern Louisiana.  Seawater from the Gulf of Mexico will be used to warm and vaporize the LNG into its gaseous state prior to distribution.

      The facility will be owned and operated by El Paso Energy Bridge Gulf of Mexico, LLC, an affiliate of El Paso Corporation.  Energy Bridge has two LNG tankers under construction with the regasification process technology.  A single vessel can deliver up to approximately 3 billion standard cubic feet of natural gas.

      Issuance of the air and water permits is a condition of the Deepwater Port Act license issued by the Coast Guard/Maritime Administration May 24, 2004.