A $5 billion integrated liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminal, petrochemical complex and gas-fired cogeneration power plant in Goldboro, NS, received a favorable preliminary environmental review with a number of conditions last week. The Maple LNG project, formerly named Keltic LNG, which is sponsored by Netherlands-based Petroplus International and Russia's Suntera Canada Ltd., would provide 1 Bcf/d of gas to the power plant and petrochemical complex being built by Keltic Petrochemicals.

The 184-page report released by the Nova Scotia Environmental Assessment Board includes nearly 60 environmental mitigation requirements. It also must be approved by Environment Minister Mark Parent.

"While some impacts would be positive (employment and investment), other impacts to the environment and on the rural surroundings and way of life would be negative," the environmental report said. "The panel recognizes that a final decision will present significant challenges to the Nova Scotia (environment minister) in balancing economic development with the need to ensure environmental sustainability."

The panel also said a great deal of project detail and information was not made available for the review and many questions must be answered by future studies and plans. Parent must make the decision within 21 days of receiving the recommendation.

The project would be located adjacent to the Sable Island Offshore Energy Project's gas processing and treating plant, where gas and liquids arrive for processing before entering Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline.

The panel members said Parent has a tough decision to make because of the massive scale of the project, which would be unique in Nova Scotia. It has the potential of benefiting the province but also hurting the rural area, the panel said in its report.

Meanwhile, Maple LNG still lacks LNG supply. Lack of supply forced Anadarko to put the province's only other LNG project, Bear Head LNG, on hold earlier this month (see Daily GPI, Feb. 13).

The project includes petrochemical plants, a marginal wharf, three LNG storage facilities with a gross capacity of 160,000 cubic meters each, regasification facilities with sendout capacity of 1 Bcf/d and a cogeneration facility. The proposal also includes construction of a highway between the development site and Antigonish. The project is expected to be in service in 2010. It would create an expected 500 full-time employment positions and 3,000 construction jobs.

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