The Saint Croix Courier

St. Stephen, NB

2008 Apr 29

LNG developer suffers setback


ST. ANDREWS — Opponents of liquefied natural gas developments around Passamaquoddy Bay are applauding the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for suspending its review of Quoddy Bay LNG’s import project.

“For us, it’s great news,” said Jessie Davies, co-chair of Save Passamaquoddy Bay Canada, a St. Andrews-based chapter of the international group fighting LNG developments in the region.

A letter to the company’s lawyer notes that Quoddy Bay LNG has been unable to provide information requested by FERC staff concerning the proposed vaporizer revision as well as the safety and reliability of the proposed cryogenic transfer line.

“Additionally, your filings state that the project design may be altered further pending negotiations with LNG suppliers and investigation into the use of additional mitigation measures,” FERC’s letter states.

“Without complete responses to these requests we cannot proceed with our engineering review or with the preparation of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement.”

The letter goes on to note that if, in the future, Quoddy Bay is able to finalize the design, FERC will reactivate processing all the requests for the LNG project.

Davies said Quoddy Bay LNG, which has also requested delays from the Board of Environmental Protection, are floundering.

“Clearly a number of engineering details are not lined up and they don’t have a supply. Also I don’t believe they have reserved space on the pipeline so there are a number of different things holding up the project. There is also a court challenge to their lease from the [Passamaquoddy organization Nulankeyutomonen Nkihtahkomikumon — “We Take Care of Our Land’],” Davies said.

“We definitely support FERC on this. They are saying there is nothing they can do with this application until Quoddy Bay decides to drop the project or to continue their design work and do all the homework required,” Davies said.

“I think the investors in the project — and also the Down East and Calais projects — are going to be looking at these things and saying isn’t there a better place to invest our money?”

SPB webmaster and researcher Robert Godfrey, of Eastport, Me., has also welcomed the news and said FERC has made the right decision.

He said this may be the only time FERC has done this for an LNG project.

He noted that it has been a year since FERC made its first requests to Quoddy Bay LNG and the company has not provided the information required.

“I think one of the really important things about this particular filing is they still have not got the required information about their proposed cryogenic pipeline.

“Their application is rather peculiar because they want to put it under the highway and under the water. In the past, transfer lines from the ships to the [tanks] have been considered part of the terminal, which require exclusion zones. For this to go under the highway, they would have to make an exception,” Godfrey said.


© 2008 Advocate Media
Article republished on Save Passamaquoddy Bay website with permission.

The Saint Croix Courier, St. Stephen, NB