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Final EIR on Long Beach, CA LNG Project Delayed Again

Oddsmakers are making it a long shot that the much-delayed final environmental impact report (EIR) on the proposed liquefied natural gas (LNG) receiving terminal in Long Beach, CA, harbor will emerge this year. Its release has been delayed again with a target of mid-December, but with little confidence that the new date will hold, a spokesperson for the Port of Long Beach, one of the report's co-authors, told NGI late Friday.

There seems to be a never-ending stream of issues being raised about the document, which is in its final peer review stages at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and in California. FERC and the Port are jointly responsible for the final EIR and environmental impact statement (EIS) tied to the proposed project.

"At some point, I guess someone has got to decide when the data gathering and response to issues is going to end, otherwise, the process could go on indefinitely," the Port of Long Beach spokesperson said.

The joint EIR eventually will be the subject of public hearings that now most likely won't be held until later in the first half of next year, the port spokesperson said. A 30-day comment period is required after the EIR is released. Separate hearings in Washington, DC, by FERC and in Long Beach by the port will be required.

Meanwhile, negotiations between the City of Long Beach and the Sound Energy Solutions (SES) joint venture of Mitsubishi Corp. and ConocoPhillips have failed to produce a longer-term agreement for supplies from the proposed LNG receiving terminal that could process up to 1 Bcf/d.

SES has a memorandum of understanding (MOU) for a 25-acre site in Long Beach Harbor to build a receiving terminal for processing up to 700 MMcf/d of LNG. The MOU essentially outlined the terms of a lease of the property from the port if the permitting process is successfully completed, according to Tom Giles, COO at SES.

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