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Project Description

The Northeast Energy Center (NEC) project located in Charlton, MA consists of a liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility, gas interconnection pipeline and gas meter station.  The LNG facility, located at 304 Southbridge Road, is comprised of the following major and ancillary components: a feed gas pretreatment system; a gas liquefaction system rated at 250,000 gallons per day; a 2-million gallon full-containment, field-erected LNG storage tank; an LNG truck-loading station with four bays (three with scales); a process control system as well as safety control, fire protection, hazard detection, and security systems; stormwater management infrastructure, and other ancillary systems. Several additional structures have been constructed on the site, including a control room and maintenance building, an utilities/electrical building, a pretreatment building, a nitrogen compressor building, and an LNG truck-loading station shelter. A perimeter security fence and video surveillance system surrounding the site allows controlled, secure access to the facility.

The facility receives natural gas vis a new approximately 5,400-linear foot interconnection pipeline extending from a new tap off of the existing Tennessee Gas Pipeline (TGP) interstate pipeline. The interconnection pipeline is a 10-inch diameter coated steel pipeline installed along the westerly side of the Route 169 (Southbridge Road) ROW. Interconnection pipeline construction used a horizontal directional drilling (HDD) method for two Cady Brook crossings. The southernmost HDD also extended under Sherwood Lane and the driveways of North American Tool and Incom to minimize operational disruptions to these businesses. Tradition cut and cover construction techniques where used for the remaining pipeline alignment. An impressed current cathodic protection system protects the interconnection pipeline from external corrosion.

The meter station is located at 190 Southbridge Road adjacent to the TGP ROW.  The gas metering station monitors and controls gas flow from the TGP interstate pipeline system to the facility. The meter station site consists of above ground enclosures for the metering equipment and associated valves and piping, and electronic gas measurement (EGM) computer and gas chromatograph.

Project Status

The major permitting of the project was completed with the issue of the Final Order from the Massachusetts Energy Facilities Siting Board (EFSB) in October 2021, the Final Air Quality Plan Approval from the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) in November 2021, and the WPA Form 5 – Order of Conditions from the Town of Charlton Conservation Commission/MassDEP Bureau of Resource Protection – Wetlands in July 2021.

NEC completed its permanent financing for the project in late 2021 and issued its Final Notice to Proceed to the EPC Contractor. Site work began in the Spring of 2022 and construction was completed in December 2023. The project is currently in the commissioning and startup phase and the facility will be ready to start commercial operations by the Spring of 2024.

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