The Quoddy Tides

Eastport, Maine

2006 January 13

Pilots support Downeast LNG proposal

by Marie Jones Holmes

Robert Wyatt, vice president of environment and permits for Downeast LNG, in a press release issued January 6 announced that the Quoddy International Pilots Advisory Group has stated its support of the efforts of Downeast LNG to build a liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminal at Mill Cove in Robbinston. The support was in the form of a letter dated December 19, 2005, to Wyatt stating, "After an extensive preliminary review, we can support the safe transit of LNG vessels to your proposed site, via Head Harbour Passage, Western Passage and Passamaquoddy Bay." The pilots group represents the American and Canadian captains who guide ships into Eastport and Bayside.

In the letter signed by Captain Gerald Morrison, Captain Robert Peacock, Captain Graham Savage and Captain James Mathews, the pilots say that more work must be done to determine the environmental parameters, such as currents and weather for a safe transit, the exact location and orientation of Downeast LNG's pier, the number and size of the tugboats and escort vessels that will be required and the exclusion around the vessel during transit. The pilots said that they would be willing to help Downeast LNG address these issues through navigational maneuvering simulation and pilot simulator training.

"We are very pleased to receive this support from the pilots group whose members already guide more than a hundred ships through these waters each year," stated Robert Wyatt. "No one knows local waters better than the pilots, and their support of our project plans should help to address the concerns that some people have expressed about the safe transit of LNG vessels to and from our facility in Robbinston."

Wyatt also said, "We look forward to working cooperatively with the pilots group, the U.S. Coast Guard, Canadian marine officials, local fishermen, tour boat and ferry operators and the general public to ensure that the ship traffic to and from our facility is safe and compatible with the marine environment."


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