2009 Jun 19
ST. STEPHEN – “An iceberg’s chance in hell,” is how one member of the St. Stephen Area Chamber of Commerce described the chances of Calais LNG Project Company getting permission from the federal government to bring its liquefied natural gas tankers through Head Harbour Passage to a proposed site across from the Port of Bayside.
But Ian Emery, the company’s development manager, told chamber members at their luncheon meeting Wednesday, June 17, that representatives from the American government met with their Canadian counterparts in Ottawa two weeks ago and one of the things they discussed was the development of projects in waterways shared by the two countries.
When told that the Canadian government is adamant that LNG tankers will not be allowed to sail through Head Harbour Passage on their way to ports in Maine, Emery replied that as long as his company felt it was making progress with the Canadian government it would continue with plans to construct the $800 million project.
“We’re here. We’re driven. I live in Washington County and I’m committed to seeing this thing go,” Emery said.
When a chamber member asked if Emery’s company needed the Canadian government’s permission to sail through those waters, another member interjected, “they sure as hell do” before Emery replied that he would prefer to have that permission. “I do know I would prefer and look forward to support from New Brunswick and the Canadian federal government for this,” said Emery.
“We have more to gain by working together.”
He said New Brunswick is building a “great energy hub” and that he admires the work that the companies in the province are doing building energy projects destined for New England markets.
“I think there’s more to be gained working together and helping you bring your economy forward at the same time we get a chance to maybe enjoy some of that opportunity too because we need it in Washington County,” said Emery.
Emery said he wanted to develop the Calais LNG project “in a meaningful way that’s recognizing opportunities for folks on both sides of the border.”
He said Calais and St. Stephen have a long, strong tradition of working together. Emery said he is interested and eager to sit down with people in St. Stephen to figure out how his company can bring benefits to the community.
“I mean that in the most sincere way. Construction will create stimulation in this area and once the facility is up and built there will be people working and employed which will be nice for a change,” said Emery.
“We sure are committed to trying to figure out how we can help your situation here as we develop and improve prospects for folks in Calais and Washington County.”
© 2009 Advocate Media
Article republished on Save Passamaquoddy Bay website with permission.
The Saint Croix Courier, St. Stephen, NB