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LNG Production Facility Proposed in Northwest New Hampshire

Marlborough, MA-based Clear Energy plans to build a $100 million liquefied natural gas (LNG) production facility for domestic peaking use near Northumberland, NH, a company official recently told the town's Board of Selectmen.

The White Mountain LNG project, which would include an 8.7 MW gas-fired power plant, would be the largest of its kind in the United States, creating 84 jobs and $1.7 million in annual property taxes, according to Clear Energy COO Evan Coleman.

The facility would be built on a site formerly home to a paper mill and served by a Portland Natural Gas Transmission System pipeline that ties into the TransCanada system. It would generate 300,000 gallons of LNG a day that would be trucked to customers across New England from Northumberland, which is on the Vermont border in northwest New Hampshire.

Clear Energy of Marlborough, MA, also plans storage tanks capable of holding 1.8 million gallons of LNG. Pipeline supplies would be used to make and store the LNG during the off-peak for use in peaking. If approved by local, state and federal regulators, the facility could be open by spring 2015, the company said.

The facility would be located near a school, but the area, thanks to years of operations at the old paper mill, is used to truck traffic, according to local officials.

"The reality is that we had a paper mill located right next door to the elementary school with tremendous stocks of chemicals," School Administrative Unit #58 Superintendent Carl Ladd told the New Hampshire Union Leader. "Trains went through there with all kinds of chemicals and fuel and we managed to survive that."

New England power generators and heating customers are increasingly turning to lower-priced natural gas, but construction of new pipelines just to serve winter peaking is not economic. With no recourse to storage, growing numbers of off-pipe customers are receiving natural gas via "virtual pipelines" -- compressed natural gas or LNG trucked in on tractor-trailers (see Daily GPI, Dec. 31, 2013; Nov. 22, 2013).

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