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LNG terminal to get first ship this summer

PASCAGOULA — The first tanker carrying liquefied natural gas is expected to arrive at a new $1.1-billion terminal along the Mississippi coast early this summer.

Currently, the final phase of construction is under way at the Gulf LNG terminal, located southeast of Pascagoula.

Terminal spokesman Bill Baerg told The Sun Herald that the first transport will commission the plant with LNG — natural gas that has been chilled and condensed to a liquid for movement and storage.

Full operations are expected to begin around October, he said.

The pier and dock will accommodate one tanker at a time and the plan is to dock 150 ships a year, bringing LNG in from other countries.

The liquid will be piped to storage tanks, then turned back into a gas through a series of warming pipes, and piped throughout the United States. The tanks have the capacity to store 6.6 billion cubic feet of natural gas, enough to supply the state of Mississippi for a week, company officials have said.

The terminal is slated to become one of the Port of Pascagoula’s biggest clients, generating $3 million to $4 million in rent in addition to cargo fees. The port is responsible for keeping the tanker berth dredged. Part of the rent will go to Mississippi’s tidelands fund.

Houston-based El Paso Corp. owns 50 percent of in the terminal and which will manage operations. Other investors are Crest Investments of Houston and Sonangol, which manages Angola’s oil and natural gas reserves.

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