Pipeline Supporting Florida's Deepwater LNG Port Gets Go-Ahead

Port Dolphin Energy announced that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has issued a certificate of public necessity and convenience to build and operate an on-shore pipeline to connect to its deepwater liquefied natural gas (LNG) port off the West Coast of Florida.

The FERC order marks another successful milestone in the project. Last month, the U.S. Maritime Administration and U.S. Coast Guard gave approval to the Port Dolphin project. This action followed the formal approval of the proposed project in September by Florida Governor Charlie Crist.

Port Dolphin is a subsidiary of Hoegh LNG, a worldwide leader in the development of floating solutions in the LNG value chain. Located 28 miles off Tampa Bay, the new deepwater port will -- with its specially designed LNG vessels -- deliver natural gas through an undersea pipeline to connect with the state's pipeline system four miles inland from Port Manatee. The LNG will be returned to a gaseous state onboard the vessels and fed into the pipeline to serve customers across Florida.

"We are extremely pleased with the positive response to this project by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission," said Sveinung J. Stohle, president and chief executive officer of Hoegh LNG. "The port will be an important new solution to bring much-needed natural gas for the State of Florida."

New Gas Supply

The Florida Public Service Commission has forecast steadily rising demand for natural gas in the state. Several planned coal-fired power plants have been canceled, with the state increasingly turning to clean-burning natural gas for electric power production.

Port Dolphin's deepwater port will have peak sendout capacity of up to 1.2 billion cubic feet per day, enough to power more than one million homes. When fully operational, Port Dolphin will have enough capacity to meet 15 percent of Florida's natural gas needs. Construction of the port is set to begin in 2012 with completion in 2013.

"The prompt action by FERC confirms our belief that this project will provide increased energy security to Florida, where additional supplies will be needed," said Jim Butcher, chairman and chief executive officer of Port Dolphin Energy.