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Oregon LNG Proposal Gets Land Lease

A liquefied natural gas (LNG) receiving terminal in Oregon received a boost last week when the Port of St. Helens along the lower Columbia River approved a 99-year lease on 145 acres in Clackamas County for the proposed Port Westward LNG project. Some of the private investors were ready to pull the plug on the proposed 700 MMcf/d capacity terminal last month when negotiations with a private landowner broke down.

But Port officials told news media that they expect the private owners of the land to approve the lease soon. The Port would then sublease the acreage to the LNG project developers, who have not filed a notice of intent to start the permitting process with the Oregon Department of Energy.

Port Westward LNG holds options on another 1,000 acres of Port-owned land west of the privately held land that is needed to develop the terminal. Officials are looking to create a major energy zone in the Port Westward area. Local utility Portland General Electric is in the midst of building a new $300 million natural gas-fired power plant in the area, Summit Power Group is proposing another power generation plant and a grain processor has proposed building a $126 million ethanol plant in the area.

Oregon's energy department current shows only Northern Star LNG as the only terminal along the Columbia River that is in the pre-permitting stages. The Coos Bay terminal proposal along the southern coast of Oregon is close to filing of a notice of intent. Meanwhile, another LNG project planned by Calpine Corp. at the mouth of the Columbia near Astoria, OR, has not started any formal pre-permitting work, according to the energy department.

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