Weaver's Cove Energy LLC last week was expected to appeal a recent U.S. Coast Guard decision that poses a major obstacle to the company's proposal to site a liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal in Fall River, MA.

"We firmly believe there were factual errors in the Coast Guard's decision," as well as procedural errors and opinions that were presented as factual analysis, said Hess LNG President Gordon Shearer. Weaver's Cove is owned by Hess LNG, a joint venture of Poten & Partners and Hess Corp.

The company also plans to submit a revised project proposal to the Coast Guard in about two to three months, he said. The revised proposal may address issues such as fewer LNG tanker ships and shallower tankers that would float higher on the water, Shearer noted.

The Coast Guard said that if Weaver's Cove submits a new proposal, it's prepared to completely reanalyze it, the Associated Press reported.

The Coast Guard ruling, which some believed could be the end of the LNG project, was issued in late October (see NGI, Oct.29) Coast Guard Captain Roy A. Nash concluded that "the waterway from near Sandy Point, Prudence Island, Rhode Island...to the proposed facility in Fall River, Massachusetts, is unsuitable from a navigation safety perspective for the type, size and frequency of LNG marine traffic associated with your proposal."

The Coast Guard in a preliminary review issued earlier this year indicated that its final decision would not be favorable to Weaver's Cove (see NGI, May 21).

The Weaver's Cove project, which FERC approved in mid-2005, has been the target of intense opposition by local, state and federal officials. If built, it would provide 800 MMcf/d of peak sendout capacity, 400 MMcf/d of baseload supply and 200,000 metric tons of LNG storage. In June, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection suspended review of the project (see NGI, June 11).

In August, Rhode Island authorities denied Weaver's Cove permission to dredge approximately 230,000 cubic yards of the navigation channel in Mount Hope Bay (see NGI, Aug. 20).

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