2005 November 25
by Marie Jones Holmes
Another name change and the announcement of a new partner for a proposed Calais area liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility were revealed this past week. The third proposed LNG company in the Quoddy area, BP Consulting LLC, has undergone two name changes. In addition, Cianbro Corp. President Peter Vigue, of the Pittsfield-based construction company, confirmed that an agreement has been reached with the Passamaquoddy Tribe at Indian Township to develop the proposed Calais LNG facility. The Cianbro Corp. at one time managed the tribal-owned Dragon Products Co. of Thomaston.
In September 2004, Cianbro officials expressed an interest in building an LNG terminal in the Corea area of Gouldsboro, but the plan was dropped because of strong community opposition. Cianbro had proposed the construction of a $300 million terminal to be located on 50 developed acres of the Navy's former 450-acre parcel.
Concerning the agreement, Tim Walton, director of external affairs at Cianbro Corp., comments, "We have a long history of working with the Passamaquoddy Tribe. We have a common interest to bring economic stability to Washington County and to make Washington County economically viable."
In August 2005 the Calais City Council voted to support BP Consulting LLC in the development of an LNG facility at Red Beach, within the city limits of Calais. The support came in the form of a resolution passed by the Calais City Council. BP Consulting was incorporated on June 6, 2005, as a limited liability corporation in Maine. The incorporation involved a partnership between the Passamaquoddy Tribe at Indian Township, State Representative Ian Emery of Cutler and Passamaquoddy State Representative Fred Moore III.
The name BP Consulting LLC was then changed to St. Croix Development Corporation. Emery described that name as being more appropriate to the area. The partnership incorporated on October 20, 2005, as the St. Croix Development Corporation lists corporation members as Emery and Moore, and as agent, attorney George F. Easton of Bangor. Earlier this month, Moore said, "We will assist an entity which is now being formed and the project will now be known as Calais LNG." Calais LNG is not yet incorporated, but will be wholly owned by the Indian Township government. At this time, under the plan, St. Croix Development Corporation (Calais LNG) will own the land, and the tribe will own the facility. Upon fruition of the project, the tribe will own both the land and the facility. Depending upon the business model that is eventually employed, ownership by the tribe could be less than 100 %. At no point would tribal ownership be less than 50%.
Walton would not comment on any details of the agreement saying it is not prudent to discuss such details at this time.
Moore's group has an option on 300 acres of land located between Devil's Head and the St. Croix Island International Historic Site. The largest parcel, approximately 160 acres, is the former Fenderson property, now owned by Steve Carothers and Gail Roberts. The remaining acreage is mostly small parcels.
No timeline has been established, but Moore says, "We can see an LNG terminal and storage facilities operating by January 2011." The St. Croix-Calais LNG project appears on FERC'S listing of 50 proposed projects.
Earlier LNG proposals include Quoddy Bay LLC, an Oklahoma-based company, to be located at Split Rock at Pleasant Point, and Downeast LNG, a Washington, D.C.-based company, to be located at Mill Cove in Robbinston. The three projects are all in the proposal stage. Until the pre-filing process is initiated with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission by an applicant or applicants, the review process cannot begin.