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Jordan Cove LNG Project, Pipe Clear Environmental Hurdle

FERC Friday issued a favorable draft environmental review of Jordan Cove Energy Project LP's proposal to build a liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminal and associated pipeline facilities to serve the Pacific Northwest, northern California and northern Nevada.

"The proposed action would have limited adverse environmental impacts," concluded the staff of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and several cooperating agencies in the draft environmental impact statement (DEIS) on the combined terminal-pipeline project [CP07-444, CP07-441]. The cooperating agencies included the U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Coast Guard, Department of Transportation and Interior Department's Bureau of Land Management and Bureau of Reclamation, as well as Douglas County, OR.

The Jordan Cove project, which has been the target of considerable opposition in Oregon, still must receive a favorable final environmental impact statement before FERC decides whether to issue a project certificate.

The DEIS comes a month later than requested. Jordan Cove had called on FERC to issue the DEIS by the end of July so construction of the proposed terminal could be completed in time to attract long-term Pacific Rim LNG supplies (see NGI, June 9). The company is seeking to begin construction by no later than mid-2009 and complete it by either late 2012 or early 2013 to secure reliable long-term supplies of LNG.

Jordan Cove, a limited partnership between an affiliate of Alberta-based Fort Chicago Energy Partners LP and Energy Projects Development LLC, proposes to build the terminal at the International Port of Coos Bay, OR. The project calls for the construction of a marine berth; two storage tankers with a combined 6.4 Bcf of capacity; regasification and sendout capacity of 1 Bcf/d; an electric power plant; and a natural gas liquids extraction facility to recover propane and butane.

Pacific Connector proposes to build a 230-mile, 36-inch diameter pipeline to transport up to 1 Bcf/d from the proposed Jordan Cove terminal to markets in the region. The pipeline would interconnect with Williams' Northwest Pipeline near Myrtle Creek, OR; Avista Corp.'s distribution system near Shady Cove, OR; and Pacific Gas and Electric Co.'s transmission system, Tuscarora Gas Transmission's system and Gas Transmission Northwest's system, all located near Malin, OR.

Pacific Connector said it has entered into agreements with seven customers for the full capacity of the pipeline project. The proposed pipeline is a limited partnership of Williams Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline LLC, PG&E Strategic Capital Inc. and an affiliate of Fort Chicago Energy Partners, Fort Chicago LNG II US LP.

On the legal front, the Oregon Land Use Board of Appeals (LUBA) recently dismissed a challenge to one of the local permits issued for the development of the proposed Jordan Cove LNG project and Pacific Connector. The appeal dealt with one of three Coos County, OR, permits issued to the LNG project -- this one being for development of the marine docking facilities.

Opponents of the LNG project who filed the appeal can still take their case to the Oregon Court of Appeals, but project backers told NGI they were unsure whether that would happen. An earlier LUBA remand of another county permit for development of the LNG terminal site has been appealed to the appellate court by the opponents (see NGI, July 21).

In the meantime, Jordan Cove backers cannot move forward to correct the county permit deficiencies for the site until the appeals court takes action, which should be by the end of the year, according to Bob Braddock, project manager for Jordan Cove.

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