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Port Dolphin Energy LLC, Port Dolphin Liquefied Natural Gas Deepwater Port License Application

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Maritime Administration, DOT.


Notice of application.


The Coast Guard and the Maritime Administration announce that they have received an application for the licensing of a natural gas deepwater port and that the application contains the required information. This notice summarizes the applicant's plans and the procedures that will be followed in considering the application.


The Deepwater Port Act of 1974, as amended, requires a public hearing on this application within 240 days of the publication of this notice, and a decision on the application not later than 90 days after the final public hearing.


The public docket for USCG-2007-28532 is maintained by the: Department of Transportation, Docket Management Facility, West Building, Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., Washington, DC 20590.

Docket contents are available for public inspection and copying, at this address, in room W12-140, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The Facility's telephone is 202-366-9329, its fax is 202-493-2251, and its Web site for electronic submissions or for electronic access to docket contents is

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Ray Martin, U.S. Coast Guard, telephone: 202-372-1449, e-mail: or Lieutenant Commander Brian Moore, U.S. Coast Guard, telephone: 202-372-1442, e-mail: or Chris Hanan, U.S. Maritime Administration, telephone: 202-366-1900, e-mail: If you have questions on viewing the Docket, call Renee V. Wright, Program Manager, Docket Operations, telephone: 202-493-0402.

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Receipt of application

On March 29, 2007, the Coast Guard and the Maritime Administration received an application from Port Dolphin Energy LLC for all Federal authorizations required for a license to own, construct, and operate a deepwater port authorized under the Deepwater Port Act of 1974, as amended, 33 U.S.C. 1501 et seq. (the Act). On June 15, 2007, we determined that the application contains all information required by the Act to initiate processing.


According to the Act, a deepwater port is a fixed or floating man-made structure other than a vessel, or a group of structures, located beyond State seaward boundaries and used or intended for use as a port or terminal for the transportation, storage, and further handling of oil or natural gas for transportation to any State.

A deepwater port must be licensed by the Maritime Administrator (by delegated authority of the Secretary of Transportation, published on June 18, 2003 (68 FR 36496)). Statutory and regulatory requirements for licensing appear in 33 U.S.C. 1501 et seq. and in 33 CFR Part 148. Under delegations from and agreements between the Secretary of Transportation and the Secretary of Homeland Security, applications are processed by the Coast Guard and the Maritime Administration. Each application is considered on its merits.

The Act requires adherence to a strict timeline for processing an application. Once we determine that an application contains the required information, we must hold public hearings on the application within 240 days, and the Maritime Administrator must render a decision on the application within 330 days. We will publish additional Federal Register notices to inform you of these public hearings and other procedural milestones, including the environmental review. The Maritime Administrator's decision, and other key documents, will be filed in the public docket.

At least one public hearing must take place in each adjacent coastal state. For purposes of the Act, Florida is the adjacent coastal state for this application. Other states can apply for adjacent coastal state status in accordance with 33 U.S.C. 1508(a)(2).

Summary of the Application

Port Dolphin Energy LLC, proposes to own, construct, and operate a deepwater port, named Port Dolphin, in the Federal waters of the Outer Continental Shelf in the St. Petersburg (PB) blocks: PB545, PB589 and PB590, approximately 28 miles off the west coast of Florida to the southwest of Tampa Bay, in a water depth of approximately 100 feet. Port Dolphin would consist of a permanently moored unloading buoy system with two submersible buoys separated by a distance of approximately three miles. Each unloading buoy would be permanently secured to eight mooring lines, consisting of wire rope, chain, and buoyancy elements, each attached to anchor points on the seabed. Anchor points would consist most likely of driven piles.

The buoys would be designed to moor a specialized type of LNG vessel called a Shuttle and Regasification Vessel (SRV) of between 145,000 and 217,000 cubic meter capacity. SRV vessels are equipped to vaporize cryogenic LNG cargo to natural gas through an onboard closed loop vaporization system, and to odorize and meter gas for send-out by means of the unloading buoy to conventional subsea pipelines. The SRVs would moor to the unloading buoys which connect through the hull of the vessels to specially designed turrets that would enable the vessels to weathervane or rotate in response to prevailing wind, wave, and current directions. When the vessels are not present, the buoys would be submerged on a special landing pad on the seabed, 60-70 feet below the sea surface.

Each unloading buoy would connect through a 16-inch flexible riser and a 36-inch flowline to a Y intersection and then a 36-inch pipeline approximately 42 miles in length that would connect onshore in Port Manatee, Manatee County, Florida. The pipeline would connect with the Gulfstream Natural Gas System, LLC and Tampa Electric Company (TECO).

The 36-inch gas transmission line will make landfall on Port Manatee property. From there, the transmission pipeline would proceed in a generally easterly direction to the first interconnection point with the Gulfstream system at 3.6-miles. The Gulfstream Interconnection Station would occupy an approximately two-acre site. Up to approximately 80 percent of the natural gas or 800 million standard cubic feet per day (mmscfd) is expected to be delivered to the Gulfstream Pipeline.

The remaining portion of the natural gas, up to approximately 360 mmscfd, would be transported by 14-inch line to the TECO interconnection station, located 5.8-miles east of the Gulfstream interconnect. Only shuttle and regasification vessels (SRVs) would call on Port Dolphin. Offloading should Start Printed Page 34742require between 4-8 days and when empty the SRV would disconnect from the buoy and leave the port.

Initially it is expected that Port Dolphin would be capable of a natural gas throughput of 400 mmscfd and would eventually be capable of 800 mmscfd with a peak capacity of 1200 mmscfd by having at least one SRV regasifying and discharging at all times. The system would be designed so that two SRVs can be moored simultaneously for continuous unloading of natural gas.

Port Dolphin Energy LLC is seeking Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) approval for the onshore pipelines concurrent with this deepwater port application. As required by FERC regulations, FERC will also maintain a docket for the FERC portion of the project. The docket numbers are CP07-191-000 and CP07-192-000. The filing may also be viewed on the web at using the “eLibrary” link. Enter the docket number excluding the last three digits in the docket number field to access the document. For assistance, call (866) 208-3767 or TYY, (202) 502-8659.

In addition, pipelines and structures such as the moorings may require permits under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act and Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act which are administered by the Army Corps of Engineers (USACE).

Port Dolphin will also require permits from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) pursuant to the provisions of the Clean Air Act, as amended, and the Clean Water Act, as amended.

The new pipeline will be included in the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) review as part of the deepwater port application process. FERC, EPA, and the USACE among others, are cooperating agencies and will assist in the NEPA process as described in 40 CFR 1501.6; will be participating in the scoping meetings; and will incorporate the EIS into their permitting processes. Comments sent to the FERC docket, EPA or USACE will also be incorporated into the DOT docket and EIS to ensure consistency with the NEPA Process.

Construction of the deepwater port would be expected to take approximately 22 months with startup of commercial operations following construction, should a license be issued. The deepwater port would be designed, constructed and operated in accordance with applicable codes and standards.

Privacy Act

The electronic form of all comments received into the DOT docket are available to any person and may be searched by the name of the individual submitting the comment (or signing the comment, if submitted on behalf of an association, business, labor union, etc.). You may review DOT's complete Privacy Act Statement in the Federal Register published on April 11, 2000 (Volume 65, Number 70; Pages 19477-78) or you may visit

(Authority: 49 CFR 1.66)

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Dated: June 20, 2007.

By Order of the Maritime Administrator.

Daron T. Threet,

Secretary, Maritime Administration.

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[FR Doc. E7-12243 Filed 6-22-07; 8:45 am]