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City OKs New PSE LNG Facility
This week the Tacoma City Council approved an agreement allowing Puget Sound Energy to build a liquefied natural gas facility on Port of Tacoma property at East 11th Street and Taylor Way.
PSE wants to build the natural gas liquefaction and storage facility on the 33-acre site on the Blair-Hylebos Peninsula in the Port to meet customer demands and to provide LNG to the nearby TOTE marine facility, according to City documents.
The facility would receive natural gas from PSE’s distribution system, chill the gas to produce approximately 250,000 to 500,000 gallons of natural gas into liquefied natural gas (“LNG”) daily, and store up to 8 million gallons of LNG on site. The LNG would be available for use as a reduced‐emissions fuel for marine vessels and land‐based vehicles, as well as for utility peak shaving during periods of high demand.
Natural gas would arrive at the facility via an existing PSE natural gas pipeline distribution system, with two new segments to be added to serve the facility. One mile of pipeline in unincorporated Pierce County would connect two existing lines, and four miles of pipeline would extend from Fife into Tacoma to reach the new facility.
The City's Environmental Impact Statement on the project, which lays the groundwork for state, federal, and local agency decisions still to come on the facility, analyzes potential environmental impacts and recommending actions to mitigate those impacts. Three actions are highlighted as of "paramount importance":
- The reopening of Fire Station 15 at East 11th and Taylor Way
- The complete reconstruction of Taylor Way from State Route 509 to East 11th Street to current "heavy haul" standards
- The installation of an "Intelligent Transportation System" (ITS) that can inform public safety agencies as to vehicle and train status in real time.
The old Fire Station 15, which has sat unused for several years now, would be refurbished at PSE's expense, and reopened with a new number (to avoid confusion with the new #15, which will continue to operate up the hill on McKinley) using revenue collected by the City from the LNG project. As was explained at this week's council meeting, reopening the fire station would significantly improve response times within the Port and Northeast Tacoma. The proposed location of the PSE facility is currently in the Fire Department's worst response time within the Port.
PSE will also be required to fund approximately half the cost of rebuilding Taylor Way. The City and the Port will work together in the next four years to find funding for the remainder of the cost of rebuilding that road and for the installation of a basic ITS, either through grants or a local improvement district.
PSE would like to begin construction on the project before the end of this year, and hopes to have the plant operational by early 2017.
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