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Another Alabama LNG Terminal Blocked

The Alabama governor has once again shot down a proposal for a liquefied natural gas (LNG) receiving terminal off the state's coast, this one a proposed 1.2 Bcf/d deepwater port, the Bienville Offshore Energy Terminal, which already had received a final environmental impact statement (FEIS) from FERC.

Gov. Bob Riley issued a statement last Thursday saying he had met with officials of the sponsoring Norwegian company, TORP Technology, earlier in the week and informed them he had concerns with their application for a terminal south of Fort Morgan, AL. The company then told him it was withdrawing its application.

"I continue to be extremely concerned about the potential environmental impact of the proposed terminal on our marine resources," Riley said. "I believe the potential benefits of the LNG terminal off our coast do not outweigh the consequences and the potentially negative effect this could have on our coastal environment."

Previously the governor had said he would veto a proposal for a deepwater LNG port from ConocoPhillips Corp. in 2006. That company then withdrew its application for it proposed $800 million Compass Point import terminal off Dauphin Island.

"My concern is not with the companies that have approached Alabama for these projects, but rather the open loop technology they both planned to use," Riley said.

ConocoPhillips had said the project would not be viable with a more costly design for a closed loop warming system using Gulf waters to heat the frozen liquid to a gaseous state. The company had promised Alabama that there would be no adverse environmental impact from the open loop design.

The $400 million Bienville Offshore project had included a combined offshore receiving and regasification station 63 miles south of Mobile Point, AL, in the federal Outer Continental Shelf waters on Main Pass Block 258. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) had scheduled a public hearing on the FEIS and called for public comments by Sept. 22. Federal and state agencies' comments, recommended conditions for licensing, or letters of no objection were due by Oct. 10.

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