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Cheniere Eyes Mobile, AL, As Next Location for LNG Terminal

Cheniere Eyes Mobile, AL, As Next Location for LNG Terminal

Cheniere Energy said it has signed an option agreement with Atlantic Marine Inc. for the purchase of an industrial site on Pinto Island in Mobile Bay, AL, where the company is considering building its next liquefied natural gas (LNG) receiving terminal.

However, Cheniere has looked at many sites in the past before selecting ideal locations for terminals. It currently is planning three other terminals on the Gulf Coasts of Texas and Louisiana. Extensive discussions with the surrounding community and the market has to preceded a final decision to move forward with a FERC application, the company said.

"We have been exploring this alternative with Atlantic Marine for several months," said Cheniere President Keith Meyer. "The site is well suited from a technical standpoint and is located in an industrial area. We have now begun a process of community outreach to evaluate whether the residents of Mobile and its surroundings would support an LNG receiving facility at this site. We will only proceed with this project if we feel that the community would support us."

ExxonMobil Corp. has proposed a LNG terminal along Mobile Bay just south of Mobile's city limits, which has stirred up a local controversy over safety/security hazards. The company paid $38 million for a three-year option on 200 acres of land as a possible site for an LNG receiving terminal (see Daily GPI, Dec. 10, 2003).

Herschel Vinyard of Atlantic Marine said Cheniere's terminal would be "beneficial to the local economy and would position Mobile as a significant gateway to North America for world natural gas."

Cheniere is a 30% limited partner in Freeport LNG which filed an application with FERC in March 2003 to develop an LNG facility in Freeport, TX, and Cheniere also filed an application on Dec. 22 for two additional sites at Corpus Christi, TX, and Sabine Pass, LA.

"We think it is imperative for the health of our national economy that we build the infrastructure necessary to import natural gas into this country," said Cheniere CEO Charif Souki. "While we have advanced three locations to the stage of submitting an application with FERC, we have reviewed numerous locations that failed to meet our criteria.

"We are committed to continue looking for suitable locations because we think it will be difficult to permit enough sites to secure this nation's gas needs," he added. "If the community supports this project, we will begin preparing an application for a permit through the NEPA pre-filing process."

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