Plans for the MapleLNG liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal, which was to be built east of Halifax, NS (see Daily GPI, March 10, 2008), have been scrapped, the project's backer told local news media. And a Texas LNG terminal project backed by the same parent of MapleLNG appears to be dead in the water, too.
The three-tank MapleLNG terminal was to be built in Goldboro, NS, at a cost of about $800 million. MapleLNG General Manager Derek Owen said the project had difficulty obtaining LNG and there is a lack of demand for regasified LNG in Canada. Maple parent 4Gas BV said it would drop an option for land for the terminal and will not proceed with engineering.
4Gas, which is based in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, is also behind the proposed Vista del Sol LNG terminal, which was planned for San Patricio County, TX. On Monday the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued an order vacating authorizations for the terminal.
In June 2005 FERC issued an order authorizing Vista del Sol LNG Terminal LP to site, construct and operate the terminal as well as an associated pipeline. The authorization was later extended until June 20, 2010 for Vista del Sol to complete construction of the facilities and make them available for service. The extension was granted due to a lack of progress on the facilities and in light of the acquisition by private equity-backed 4Gas of ExxonMobil Corp.'s stake in the project (see Daily GPI, Sept. 18, 2007).
No further extension was requested, FERC noted in its latest order. "Further, the only construction clearance to date for either project was for Vista terminal's relocation of two existing pipelines and the removal of several buildings existing on the 310-acre terminal site purchased by Vista LNG...In view of the above considerations, the Commission is vacating Vista LNG's and Vista Pipeline's NGA [Natural Gas Act] respective authorizations for the LNG terminal and pipeline authorized by the Commission's June 20, 2005 order."
4Gas did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the projects. On its website the company claims to be "the world's only independent LNG-terminaling company with a global reach." It is active in Europe and Asia as well as the United States.
Numerous predictions of a substantial increase in imports of LNG to the United States made over recent years have failed to come true. And now that the United States is experiencing a gas glut and weak prices due to robust production from gas shale plays combined with a weak economy, the outlook for LNG imports has dimmed further. In fact, Cheniere Energy Inc. is now seeking to export liquefied U.S. gas from its Sabine Pass terminal in Cameron Parish, LA (see Daily GPI, Aug. 20).
Last spring another LNG terminal project, Crown Landing LLC, which plans to develop an LNG terminal on the Delaware River in Gloucester County, NJ, asked FERC to give it a one-year extension to revise a permit application for the project (see Daily GPI, May 19).
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