By Mark Edward Nero
The Port of Tacoma said Sept. 2 that it has extended by two months the feasibility period for a proposed 30-acre, $250 million liquefied natural gas plant that would be operated by developer Puget Sound Energy.
Port commissioners originally authorized the lease with Puget Sound Energy on Aug. 21, 2014, and the two-year feasibility period was originally to end Aug. 31, 2016. The new amendment extends the feasibility to Oct. 31, providing additional time for Puget Sound Energy to secure permits before construction begins.
Puget Sound Energy proposes to build the LNG facility to support TOTE Maritime Alaska’s plan to retrofit its ships to use the cleaner burning fuel, as well as provide natural gas for household use during peak demand periods.
Within the feasibility period, PSE would have to pay $50,000 to pull out of the lease, although no cost would be owed if the cancellation was attributed to environmental reasons the utility did not cause.
If and when the plant moves into the construction phase, Puget Sound Energy would pay the port $146,000 per month. The amount would rise to $212,445 monthly when the plant goes into full operation.
The facility, which could begin operation in 2019, is planned to produce 250,000 gallons of LNG per day, storing the product onsite in an eight million gallon tank.
An update on the lease is expected to be provided during the port’s Sept. 15 commission meeting.