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FERC Begins Pre-Filing Process for Quoddy Bay Terminal in Maine

January 16, 2006
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Over the objections of an opposition alliance group, FERC last Wednesday approved Quoddy Bay LLC's request to begin the environmental pre-filing process for its proposed $500 million liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminal on a Native American reservation at Split Rock, ME, and a storage project at Perry, ME.

"Your stated intention is to file a certificate application in September 2006...You requested that the Commission issue a decision on the project by September 2007. We believe that it will be possible to coordinate with other agencies, complete the process of producing the EIS [environmental impact statement], and present our recommendations to the Commission in that time frame," J. Mark Robinson, director of FERC's Office of Energy Projects, said in a letter to Quoddy Bay's attorney [PF06-11].

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission granted Oklahoma-based Quoddy Bay's request despite a group's plea that the agency suspend the pre-filing review of Quoddy Bay's proposed terminal until the courts could decide if the company has lawful access to the Split Rock site (see NGI, Jan. 9). In November, eight leaders of the Passamaquoddy Tribe in Maine filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Bangor challenging the Interior Department's Bureau of Indian Affairs approval of the tribe's lease agreement with Quoddy Bay for the Split Rock location.

The Save Passamaquoddy Bay 3-Nation Alliance, a group of Passamaquoddy tribal, U.S. and Canadian members, argued that FERC should halt the pre-filing process for the terminal project since Quoddy Bay did not have "free and clear" access to the land.

The LNG project would be located at Split Rock on the Sipayik reservation of the Passamaquoddy Tribe in Washington County, ME. The 15-acre site near Pleasant Point, ME, abuts the Passamaquoddy and Cobscook Bays.

The project includes a 40-mile gas pipeline connecting with the existing Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline system to transport gas throughout Maine and into southern New England; an onshore storage and regasification facility within one mile of Split Rock in Perry; three storage tanks with a capacity to hold about 10 Bcf of gas; and up to 2 Bcf/d of regasification capacity at either the pier or the storage tanks. Quoddy Bay expects the LNG terminal and storage facilities will be in service as early as 2009.

"Quoddy Bay proposes to deliver up to 2 Bcf/d of natural gas to an interconnect with Maritimes & Northeast's system near Princeton, ME, and is currently in discussions with M&NE regarding takeaway options for the Quoddy Bay gas. Accordingly, we encourage Quoddy Bay to work with M&NE during the pre-filing process to identify any additional pipeline facilities that may be needed to transport the gas volumes on M&NE's system," FERC's Robinson said.

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