A first-ever proposed direct shipment of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Yemen, where Al-Qaeda threats have intensified, to Boston Harbor tentatively in February has prompted the U.S. Coast Guard there to review its tanker security.
The Coast Guard began its security review before a passenger with ties to Al-Qaeda in Yemen tried to blow up a Northwest Airlines plane headed for Detroit on Christmas Day, said Coast Guard spokesman Jeff Hall.
The Yemen-to-Boston proposal of GDF Suez Energy North America, which owns the Distrigas of Massachusetts terminal in Everett, MA, is being considered by the Captain of Port John Healey in Boston, he noted. LNG has never been transported directly from Yemen to the United States, but rather has always gone through a third party, Hall said.
He said he did not know how much LNG would be delivered to the Everett terminal, or if the delivery would occur in February. “We want to be fair to all parties. But we’re not using the February deadline as a set-in-stone deadline.”
The number of Yemen-sourced LNG shipments to the Distrigas terminal will depend on demand, weather and other factors, said GDF Suez spokesman Julie Vitek. She noted that the Yemen LNG, which will be a “new supply source” for Distrigas, would supplement shipments from Trinidad and Tobago and Egypt.
Other key customers for Yemen LNG are the French energy giant Total and the Korea Gas Corp. (KOGAS) of South Korea, Vitek said.
The LNG plant in Yemen started production in October. The $4.5 billion facility eventually will have two trains with a combined capacity of 6.7 million tons annually.
Yemen LNG has inked three 20-year agreements for all of the plant’s capacity with GDF Suez, Total Gas and Power and KOGAS. Total Gas is the majority owner in the Yemen LNG plant, holding a nearly 40% stake.
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