The Quoddy Tides

Eastport, Maine

2006 February 24

Quoddy Bay LLC: plans haven't changed

by Marie Jones Holmes

Reports that the Quoddy Bay LLC liquefied natural gas (LNG) project recently has quadrupled in daily capacity are not correct, according to Brian Smith, Quoddy Bay project manager, and Cary Weston, public relations spokesman for Quoddy Bay.

According to Weston, the project first proposed by Quoddy Bay LLC at Gleason's Cove involved an output of approximately 0.5 billion cubic feet to 1 billion cubic feet per day. The Gleason's Cove project was scrapped following a vote concerning the proposal in the Town of Perry in March 2005. The Split Rock facility plan filed with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) on December 16, 2005, calls for a two-berth pier at Split Rock at Pleasant Point with an output of up to 2 billion cubic feet per day. It also calls for a pipeline connected to three storage tanks in Perry and another line that would pipe regasified LNG to the Maritimes & Northeast pipeline at Baileyville.

According to Weston, only one regasification system would operate at a time, not two. Weston says the most gas the facility could supply each day to the Maritimes & Northeast pipeline is 2 billion cubic feet.

Brian Smith says when the ground lease was signed in May of 2005 with the Passamaquoddy Tribe it called for 2 billion cubic feet per day. "We have been acting on that premise since."

Smith says, "We are still planning to have a maximum number of 180 ships a year at full capacity. In order to have reliability we still plan to unload to the storage tanks, but if we need to shut down the storage facility for maintenance, we can unload directly from the ships into vaporizers on the pier."

Smith finds the sudden reaction to an interview he had approximately three months ago with Platts LNG Daily, the Houston-based trade publication, surprising.

According to Weston, the Smiths have been looking in Trinidad and Tobago for potential partners in the Quoddy Bay project. Smith comments, "We have been having conversations with both government and private companies for over a year. Our main interest is in permitting this facility, and gas supply is one of necessary components." The Caribbean islands of Trinidad and Tobago are the source of much of the natural gas imported into the United States.

Robert Kopka, FERC project manager for the Quoddy Bay project, says changes can be made during the pre-filing process. Changes can also be made during the filing process, but they would result in delays in a final FERC decision.

Eastport City Manager George Finch says, "I thought the first proposal was absurd, and any changes would just compound the absurdity. My basic belief is still the same, when all is said and done — for technical and financial reasons I don't think the project will go."

Smith has asked to be placed on the Eastport City Council's agenda for the March 13 council meeting. Finch says the project will be placed on the agenda.


© 2006 The Quoddy Tides
Eastport, Maine
Article republished on Save Passamaquoddy Bay website with permission.