SOURCE: Zeus Development Corporation

May 04, 2006 11:42 ET

Florida Faces Natural Gas Crunch as Population Swells, Conference to Examine Consequences, Solutions

HOUSTON, TX -- (MARKET WIRE) -- May 4, 2006 -- With the fastest growing population and economy in the nation, Florida's demand for natural gas is ravenous. Gas demand from power plants in July and August when air conditioners are humming has doubled in just four years from about 1.4 billion cubic feet per day (Bcfd) to nearly 3.0 Bcfd.

This is straining the state's two major inbound pipelines -- Florida Gas Transmission and Gulf Stream -- to keep up with demand. Later this decade, both are expected to be at full capacity.

To alleviate the strain, energy super major, BP, tried to establish an LNG terminal in Tampa early this decade, but the plan was summarily refused by local officials who had concerns for safety, industrial blight and deterioration of property values. So, several other energy developers, including El Paso, French-based SUEZ, ExxonMobil and AES, a power developer, went to the Bahamas, where presumably the population and government leaders would appreciate the financial benefits of an LNG terminal that transshipped its gas to Florida via a subsea pipeline.

After years of deliberation, however, the Bahamian government has proven about as reluctant to agree to a terminal as their Floridian counterparts. So, now Florida is running out of time and terminal developers and state officials, including Governor Jeb Bush, are scrambling to find additional energy-supply capacity.

Several options are being discussed -- from expansions of an existing terminal in Georgia, to new offshore buoys that would allow ships to unload their cargoes out of site of land, to new terminals offshore Alabama or onshore Mississippi, the nearest state to view terminal development as positive, to micro-scale terminals along the Floridian coast that would be served by barges, presumably have minimal impact on Florida's land values.

May 31 through June 2, energy analyst, Zeus Development Corporation, will host a conference in Palm Beach, Florida, to discuss this issue. Speakers include Allan Guyet, director of Florida's Energy Office, representatives from the major pipelines and existing terminals, as well as developers who are trying to fast track new terminals to satisfy Florida's needs.

For more information about the conference, view www.lngexpress.com/fl.

Contact Information

  • Contact:
    Rebecca Maitland
    Conference Manager
    713-333-5773
    Email Contact