The Saint Croix Courier

St. Stephen, NB

2006 December 29

Downeast LNG files with FERC

ROBBINSTON, Me. — Downeast LNG has filed formal applications with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for approval to construct and operate a liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminal on Passamaquoddy Bay in Robbinston, Me., and a 31-mile pipeline that will connect to the Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline at Baileyville,Me.

The company made the announcement last Friday.

Company officials also announced that they have filed applications with state officials under the Maine's Site Location of Development Law and Natural Resources Protection Act. Among other things, these applications begin the submerged lands lease process for the project's pier and a water quality certification review. Earlier this month, Downeast LNG filed a Minor Source Air Emission license application with the state.

"This is a major milestone for our project, and we are grateful to local residents and members of our team who have helped us keep this project moving forward," said Dean Girdis, president of Downeast LNG.

"This is a safe, environmentally sound project and we are confident that it will be approved after a rigorous review by FERC and other federal and state agencies."

In addition to the FERC and state filings, Downeast LNG also has submitted a "Follow-On Waterway Suitability Assessment (WSA)" with the U.S. Coast Guard and a Clean Water Act permit application to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Downeast LNG is the only LNG project in Maine that has filed for both state and federal approvals.

The proposed facility will consist of two storage tanks, a re-gasification plant, and a pier to receive LNG carriers.

The project also includes a 31-mile pipeline that will connect the facility to the existing Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline that runs from Nova Scotia, Canada, through Maine to southern New England.

The Downeast LNG project was first announced in July of 2005. For the past 12 months the project team has been engaged in the FERC pre-filing process, in which stakeholders are identified, scoping meetings are held, and more than a dozen resource reports, covering everything from archeology to air quality, are prepared and submitted for review.

"We have done exactly what we said we would do," said Girdis.

"The project for which we have filed permit applications today is the same project we presented to the people of Robbinston more than a year and a half ago. Our terminal facility will be an important new source of clean, natural gas for Maine and the Northeast and will provide exciting new job opportunities for the people of Washington County."

According to Girdis, one of the next steps is for FERC to issue a preliminary draft environmental impact statement (EIS) to cooperating agencies for theirreview under the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).

A Draft EIS will follow, comments from the public will be solicited, and meetings will be held in the project area. FERC will then respond to the public comments and revise the Draft EIS before issuing a Final EIS. The project will then be approved or denied.

In addition to the FERC permit, the U.S. Coast guard must approve a ship operating plan for LNG carriers coming to and from the terminal, and various state permits need to be issued. The State of Maine permitting process will run concurrently with the FERC review.

Downeast LNG hopes to have all of its approvals in hand by the end of 2007 and to begin construction by late 2007 or early 2008. Girdis said he hopes that the terminal facility and pipeline connection will be ready to receive LNG shipments by late 2010 or early 2011.

Downeast LNG is proposing to build an LNG import terminal at Mill Cove in Robbinston, on an 80-acre site.

The facility will consist of two full containment storage tanks, processing equipment, a new pier and severalsmall support buildings.

It will have a storage capacity of 320,000 cubic meters, with an output capacity of 500 million standard cubic feet per day (mmscfd) and peaking capacity of 625 mmscfd.


© 2006 Advocate Media
Article republished on Save Passamaquoddy Bay website with permission.

The Saint Croix Courier, St. Stephen, NB