The Quoddy Tides

Eastport, Maine

2008 Jun 27

Pre-filing approval granted by FERC to Calais LNG project

by Marie Jones Holmes

The Calais LNG project team has received approval of its application to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to participate in FERC's pre-filing process. Under the pre-filing process, Calais LNG will submit detailed project planning, design and environmental data for FERC consideration.

FERC will review the information Calais LNG submits, solicit public input, require further information, as necessary, and provide its own input, in an effort to evaluate Calais LNG's application for a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity for permission to construct and operate its proposed facilities.

Calais LNG is proposing to construct and operate a liquefied natural gas receiving terminal and storage facility on a 330-acre site on the U.S. side of the St. Croix River between Devil's Head and St. Croix Island, seven miles south of downtown Calais. The largest portion of the parcel is the former Fenderson property, located across the river from the Bayside port operation in New Brunswick. The LNG project would have 128 shoreline acres and 2,800 feet of waterfront. The project would have acreage on both sides of Route 1. An interconnection with the Maritimes & Northeast pipeline is planned.

The proposed Calais LNG project would provide an estimated 250 construction jobs and between 40 and 60 permanent operations and maintenance jobs.

In April 2008, the Calais City Council unanimously approved and signed a resolution supporting the project. "This is a big step forward for us, for Calais and for the state of Maine," says Ian Emery of Cutler, the project's development manager. "It's exciting to finally get started on the formal review process, but it's important to remember that this will be a very long and detailed process, which will involve a lot of other federal, state and local agencies."

Jim Dusch of the Maine Board of Environmental Protection's commissioner's office, says, "We had an initial meeting with Calais LNG in April. It was a general discussion of their plans, a cursory review." Dusch's office encourages early submission of plans to the BEP.

Calais LNG has secured financial support of Goldman Sachs as a key investor. Other partners in the project include Art Gelber, a Houston-based energy consultant, and Carl Myers of Pennsylvania, also active in the natural gas industry.

Atlantic Canada and New England, especially Maine, remain particularly vulnerable to the limited supply of natural gas available in North America, according to project manager Art Gelber. Natural gas heats many homes in the region and fuels approximately 40 percent of Maine's electricity-generation facilities. "Gas is the natural complement to wind generation, which Maine also hopes to expand, because it is a clean, stable and uninterrupted source of energy," Emery remarks.


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