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Canadian Ambassador Writes to Kelliher about Concerns over Maine LNG Projects

Canadian Ambassador Michael Wilson wrote a letter to FERC Chairman Joseph Kelliher this month expressing Canadian concerns about potential environmental, navigational and safety risks of liquefied natural gas (LNG) tanker traffic in Canadian waters in the Bay of Fundy and Passamaquoddy Bay in transit to proposed LNG import terminals in Maine.

He said coastal Canadian communities have "expressed strong concerns to my government" about the projects, which include the Quoddy Bay LNG project near Pleasant Point, ME, and the Downeast LNG project in Robbinston, ME (see NGI, Jan. 30; Dec. 26, 2005). Both projects have started the pre-filing process at FERC in preparation for filing applications this year. The $500 million Quoddy Bay LNG project would deliver up to 800 MMcf/d to Northeast markets via an interconnection with Maritimes and Northeast Pipeline. The $400 million Downeast project would deliver 625 MMcf/d.

"Canadian citizens have told my government that they do not want to see LNG tankers transiting the Head Harbor Passage," Wilson said. "Given that the viability of these projects depends on the passage of LNG tankers through Canada's waters in the Bay of Fundy and Passamaquoddy Bay, including Head Harbor Passage, I wanted to inform you that the Government of Canada is conducting its own study of the navigational safety, environmental and other impacts of these projects on Canada."

Wilson said the study would be completed this summer and will be used to form Canada's position on the LNG projects, "including whether to enact any measures to avoid LNG tanker traffic in the Head Harbor Passage and, in any event, to minimize risks to Canada."

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