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TransCanada's Cacouna Energy LNG Terminal Gets 57% Local Voter Approval

TransCanada appears to have finally overcome its bad luck in getting towns to approve proposed liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminals. However, it wasn't exactly a landslide decision. After having LNG projects rejected by two towns in Maine last year, the company's Cacouna Energy project, which TransCanada and partner Petro-Canada plan to build in Cacouna, PQ, squeaked by with a 57% approval by voters in a nearby Quebec village.

About 75% of all eligible voters turned out to participate in the referendum on the project, a C$700 million import terminal that would have capacity to store 320,000 cubic meters of LNG and deliver 750 MMcf/d of gas on a peak day and 500 MMcf/d on average to the eastern Canadian pipeline grid starting in November 2009.

Project Manager John Van Der Put said the partners are "delighted with the show of support" the town has given. "We recognize we still have to obtain provincial and federal approvals for our project over the coming months. And as we progress through the regulatory approval process, Cacouna Energy will continue to work with all stakeholders to enhance our understanding of their issues and maintain community support..."

The project developers said the vote, while not mandatory for regulatory approval, will, nonetheless, be given consideration by regulatory agencies in their assessment of the project.

An environmental impact statement for the project was filed in May with federal authorities. Public hearings are scheduled for early 2006. The project would be located about nine miles northeast of Riviere-d-Loup in Gros Cacouna, Quebec. TransCanada would operate the facility and Petro-Canada would supply the LNG (see Daily GPI, Sept. 2, 2004).

Last year TransCanada and its former LNG partner ConocoPhillips had two LNG projects rejected by locals in two Maine towns -- Harpswell and Cumberland (see Daily GPI, May 17, 2004). TransCanada also is facing some rather stiff opposition to an offshore LNG import terminal it is planning to build with Shell in Long Island Sound (see Daily GPI, Nov. 10, 2004).

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