The Quoddy Tides

Eastport, Maine

2008 Jul 25

Calais LNG firm opens local office

Approximately 200 people participated in the Calais LNG office opening and reception event held on July 11. The Calais LNG project team welcomed the public from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. at its new office to learn more about the proposed project and to enjoy a barbecue lunch on Triangle Green.

"We were really pleased that so many people took the time to drop by, relax and share a summer afternoon with us," said Calais LNG Project Manager Art Gelber. "The people of Calais continue to tell us how much they want this economic development opportunity to succeed."

Calais Mayor Vinton Cassidy opened the event with remarks about the importance of the project to the city. "Calais needs this project for the clean energy it will provide, the jobs it will bring, and the opportunity for additional spin-off businesses to develop," the mayor said. "We only wish you had started five years ago so the facility could be built already and help us deal with this coming winter!"

Calais LNG partners Art Gelber and Ian Emery also spoke briefly, discussing the latest progress on the project and praising the city for its leadership in welcoming an energy project that they said would help Maine and the Maritimes.

"The whole project team would like to thank the leaders and citizens of Calais for embracing liquefied natural gas as the key to a more secure, affordable energy future," said Ian Emery, development manager. "The leadership that Calais is providing is critical to the success of this project, which represents a solution to the challenges we are all facing due to rising oil prices."

Gelber described the scientific studies ongoing at the project site and pipeline route and pointed out that there currently are 30 to 40 people in the area on any given day studying aspects of the project. "We have scientists in the field conducting an array of studies to determine the characteristics of our site and the best methods for avoiding and minimizing environmental impacts. They are looking at everything from wildlife to wetlands, geology to marine resources, waterway suitability to cultural artifacts," Gelber said.

Calais LNG is proposing to construct and operate a liquefied natural gas (LNG) receiving terminal and storage facility on the outskirts of Calais, which would connect to the regional gas transmission system via an approximately 20-mile pipeline. The 330-acre site is located approximately seven miles south of downtown Calais. The developers state that benefits of the project include up to 250 construction jobs, and between 40 and 60 permanent operation and maintenance positions, property tax revenues, and a clean, secure source of energy. Calais LNG is also discussing the opportunities the facility could present for new business creation based on shipping, the local availability of natural gas, and the refrigeration associated with LNG storage.

The new office in Calais will be open often during business hours on week days. Interested members of the public may contact Ian Emery at (207) 214-7074 to schedule a specific time to talk with a representative of the project team.

Not everyone is welcoming of the proposal, though. Following the open house, Jessie Davies, co-chair of Save Passamaquoddy Bay/Canada, stated, "It is quite disturbing to watch Calais LNG so casually disregard the Canadian government's stated intention and Canada's jurisdiction over Head Harbour Passage."

"We appreciate that the Canadian government has said that they will not allow dangerous cargo to travel through Head Harbour Passage," Davies continued. "However, it seems to be making no difference to the companies putting these proposals forward."

Calais LNG is the third company proposing to build an LNG terminal along the Maine coast of Passamaquoddy Bay. In order to reach the three sites, tankers need to travel through Canadian waters. That Calais LNG is going forward with the process despite the Canadian government's refusal to let the tankers through the passage leaves the organization wondering what the Canadian government would have to do for the companies to realize that they cannot ignore Canada's jurisdiction in the area, Davies said.


© 2008 The Quoddy Tides
Eastport, Maine
Article republished on Save Passamaquoddy Bay website with permission.