$1b LNG Plant to Cut Costs

Tuesday, January 23, 2007
Gulf of Mexico vessels carrying natural gas spend time and money rumbling up canals and through ports before reaching a terminal to process the cargo — a cost ultimately paid by the consumer. New Orleans-based McMoRan Exploration Co. recently received federal approval to build a $1b liquefied natural gas terminal 16 miles east of the Mississippi River capable of processing 10 percent of the nation’s daily demand of 31 billion cubic feet. Once complete in three years, the facility will cool natural gas to a fraction of its normal size to allow for transfer of bigger loads at cheaper prices as much as 7 cents to 20 cents per 1,000 cubic feet, said a spokesman for McMoRan. And while five other such facilities exist — one off the Texas coastline in the Gulf and another in Lake Charles — McMoRan’s hub is the closest to Louisiana’s shoreline, yet far enough out to service multiple deepwater vessels.

The plant, a 330-ft. tall steel hydraulic platform sprouting from the Gulf waters to heights taller than the Louisiana Superdome, is a modified 1-mile-long hub of abandoned sulfur platforms. When the sulfur industry crashed in the 1980s, McMoRan abandoned the structure but kept the platform for future uses. Source: New Orleans City Business

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