Still unable to enjoy some early holiday cheer, a second Oregon liquefied natural gas (LNG) project was left waiting Thursday, but with some positive expectations it will clear another local hurdle in its permitting processes before Christmas. The Jordan Cove Energy Project LP at Coos Bay hopes to wrap up a second key local permit by Wednesday, its project manager told NGI late Thursday.

Both Jordan Cove and a second project, NorthernStar Natural Gas’s Bradwood Landing LNG proposal along the Columbia River, hope to be able to concentrate on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) process next year. Jordan Cove officials, however, now have to wait until mid-January for indications from FERC on the project’s environmental review schedule.

Coos County Commissioners Thursday unanimously approved the conditions associated with the port permit for the Jordan Cove project’s slip, but the elected board will not officially sign off on the findings until Wednesday (Dec. 19), according to Bob Braddock, project manager for Jordan Cove and a principal in a private equity group that is bankrolling part of the project along with Alberta-based Fort Chicago Energy Partners LP.

Braddock said FERC did not release an environmental assessment schedule, and issued a data request instead to Jordan Cove’s affiliated Pacific Connector Pipeline proponents that indicated the federal regulators would not be issuing its environmental review schedule until the proposed pipeline project submits a “biological assessment” of its proposed natural gas pipeline from the LNG terminal to existing interstate pipelines in Oregon.

This is part of the process for the draft environmental impact statement [EIS],” said Braddock, noting the eventual federal schedule should provide the “reality check” of when Jordan Cove can eventually expect to complete the FERC certification process, (see Daily GPI, Dec. 11). Pacific Connector hopes to provide the biological data “shortly after the first of the year,” so Braddock expects the FERC schedule will be known by mid-January.

Braddock said he views Jordan Cove’s FERC proceeding as an eight-month process. “We’re anticipating that FERC will state a target date in late March or the first of April.” He said the project is still behind the NorthernStar Columbia River LNG site, which also received another local permit from the Clatsop County Commission on Thursday (see related story).

Vocal local opposition has been present for both Oregon projects, with more regional activists involved in the Columbia River project. Proponents of both the LNG projects are preparing for possible local approvals being appealed by the opposition groups to Oregon’s Land-Use Board of Appeals.

In the case of Thursday’s port slip permit for Jordan Cove, Braddock said he asked the county officials for more time to have the findings in the case “polished to ensure that they are properly worded just in case the decision is appealed.”

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