The US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has issued a favorable environmental assessment for the Rio Bravo Pipeline Project Amendment, allowing the project to move forward.
The proposed amendment will modify the pipeline system facilities approved in FERC’s order granting authorizations on November 22, 2019, for the Rio Bravo Pipeline Project. When completed, the Rio Bravo Pipeline Company LLC (RP Pipeline) project will transport natural gas to Rio Grande LNG LLC’s approved (but not yet constructed) liquefied natural gas (LNG) Terminal in Cameron County, Texas.
The Rio Bravo Pipeline Project, as initially filed, consists of two interconnect booster compressor stations, each with a metering site; three compressor stations (one at the Rio Grande LNG Terminal)and other associated utilities, systems, and facilities; a 2.4-mile-long, 42-inch-(1066-mm-) diameter pipeline, including 0.8 mile (1.2 km) of dual pipeline (referred to as the header system) in Kleberg and Jim Wells Counties, Texas; 135.5 miles (218.06 km) of parallel 42-inch-diameter pipelines originating in Kleberg County and terminating at Rio Grande LNG LLC’s Rio Grande LNG Terminal in Cameron County, Texas, (referred to as Pipelines 1 and 2); four metering sites along the header system.
As part of the project amendment, RB Pipeline proposes various facility modifications to the authorized pipeline system:
- Decrease the maximum allowable operating pressure (MAOP) of the 2.4- mile-long Header System pipeline from 1480 to 1200 psig (102 to 82 bar)
- Construct an extension of 0.2 mile (0.3 km) of mainline pipeline for each of Pipelines 1 and 2 for a total of 135.7 miles (218.3 km) each
- Increase the diameter of Pipeline 1 from 42 inches to 48 inches (1219 mm) and increase the MAOP of both pipelines from 1480 to 1825 psig (102 to 125 bar)
- Increase the transportation capacity of Pipeline 1 from 2.25 Bcf/d to 2.6 Bcf/d (63.7 x 106 m3/d to 73.6 x 106 m3/d), and decrease the transportation capacity of Pipeline 2 from 2.25 Bcf/d to 1.9 Bcf/d (53.8 x 106 m3/d), resulting in the total authorized capacity of 4.5 Bcf/d (127.4 x 106 m3/d) remaining unchanged.
The project amendment also includes modifications to the following above ground facilities that are authorized, but not yet built, along the Rio Bravo Pipeline right-of-way:
- Eliminate Compressor Station 2 in Kenedy County
- Eliminate Compressor Station 3 within the Rio Grande LNG Terminal in Cameron County, except for a meter and other ancillary facilities within the LNG Terminal
- Eliminate all facilities associated with Booster Stations 1 and 2, including related meter stations, in Kenedy County
As part of the project amendment, the horsepower at Compressor Station 1 will increase from 180,000 to 282,000 hp (134,280 to 210,372 kW) by switching from six compressor units to four turbine compressor units and two electric motor compressor units.
Compressor Station 1 will now include four 43,000-hp (32,078-kW) Siemens SGT750 gas-fired turbine compressor units and two 55,000-hp (41,030-kW) Siemens electric motor-driven centrifugal gas compressor units. The turbines/compressors will be installed inside an acoustically insulated enclosure. Primary auxiliary equipment for the compressor units will include lube oil coolers, turbine exhaust systems with exhaust stack, turbine air intake system, gas piping, and a unit blow down silencer for each compressor unit.