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Florida LNG Production Project Passes First Test

While divulging more details on its cost and location, privately held developer Florida East Coast Industries (FECI) on Wednesday won approval from the local zoning commission for its plans to build a $250 million liquefied natural gas (LNG) production facility in Titusville, FL.

The Titusville Planning and Zoning Commission voted unanimously to grant FECI a conditional use permit for the undeveloped site west of U.S. Highway 1 and north of Kings Highway for a project the backers are touting as the first of its kind in Florida, although there is another similar proposal for Jacksonville (see Daily GPI, Jan. 6).

The commission's recommendation now goes to the city council in Titusville on Tuesday. Residents living near the proposed site, however, have said they would like to see the project moved to a more remote location.

FECI officials told the planning panel that the plant will be away from populated areas and stressed the "proven" nature of LNG technology as a "safe, clean" industry. The proposed facility would be located a quarter-mile from the nearest houses. Residents of a nearby senior citizens' mobile home park told planning officials it would be too close to them.

FECI said the proposed plant would be in the south end of Titusville, southeast of Space Coast Regional Airport. Affiliate Tico Development Partners LLC would build the facility.

With the local government review, FECI is making public more details on its proposal, which was announced earlier this month (see Daily GPI, Jan. 14).

FECI, which is backed by private equity firm Fortress Investment Group, said it plans to acquire natural gas from existing pipelines serving the area along the central Florida east coast near the Kennedy Space Center.

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