With four different proposals in the early, informal stages of development for siting liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals in Oregon, at least one and maybe two of the terminals eventually will be built, Michael Grainey, the head of the state energy department, told an energy conference in Seattle Thursday. He added that 140 miles of new natural gas transmission pipelines in the state helps make these proposed projects more feasible.

“I think certainly one or two may be viable in terms of demand and supply access,” said Grainey, although he cautioned they might add to, rather than lessen, the state vulnerability to wholesale price volatility. “I suspect not all four of the terminals we’ve been contacted about will go forward.”

“The one in Coos Bay [along the south Oregon Pacific Coast] is fairly small and would take advantage of the recent pipelines that connect that area with the Williams Companies [Northwest Pipeline Co.] line that runs down the north-south Interstate-5 Highway corridor.”

He said two different projects are being examined at the mouth of the Columbia River, both having what he considered an advantage of being close to the main regional pipeline grid.

“I think it is quite possible that at least one of the three [Columbia River] projects will go forward,” Grainey said.

In response to a question, Grainey said he thought another potential LNG terminal site at Newport, OR, probably was not as viable as the Coos Bay proposal, although an existing LNG storage facility is already operated at Newport as well as in Portland.

“The Newport and Portland facilities use LNG for storage and load management, but I’m not aware of any plans to expand either of those,” Grainey said. “Coos Bay has some potential advantages that at this point Newport doesn’t have.”

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