Offshore Liquefied Natural Gas Terminal Proposed

STATE – A joint venture between a New York company and a Canadian energy firm could bring a $550 million liquefied natural gas terminal 15 miles off the Jersey shore, with a pipeline running to an on-shore facility in Linden.

The Liberty Natural Gas Transmission project would consist of an underwater facility that would receive natural gas from transport ships. At full capacity, it could provide up to 2.4 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day by 2011.

“We are launching our Liberty Natural Gas Project to meet the growing energy needs of the Northeast US by delivering clean, safe and efficient natural gas to New Jersey without compromising safety or the clean waters off the Jersey shore,” said Roger Whelan, president and chief executive officer of Excalibur Energy, a joint venture between Canadian Superior Energy Inc. and Global LNG Inc.

The proposed project has drawn criticism from environmental groups.

“For twenty years we have worked hard to turn our ocean from Ocean Dumping Capitol of the World to the Clean Ocean Zone. We are enjoying the benefits and our coastal economy is thriving. Now, industries have set their greedy eyes on our ocean and threaten all that this region has worked for in improving our ocean waters, and our quality of life,” said Cindy Zipf, executive director, Clean Ocean Action.

Whelan said that the facility would provide for the growing energy need in the area. “Energy shortages will occur over the next few years unless new energy supplies are provided before 2012,” the executive said. “The US Energy Information Administration projects that the region’s growing population will need an additional 30% more energy in the coming decades relative to the current demand, with energy shortfalls beginning as soon as 2012.”

“We already know the path to a cleaner, greener future: efficiency, conservation, and renewables – not more foreign fossil fuels,” said David Byer, an attorney with Clean Ocean Action.

The facility, which still requires approvals from various state and federal agencies, is the third liquefied natural gas terminal proposed to be built off the New Jersey coast. Exxon Mobil has proposed a $1 billion floating terminal to be located approximately 20 miles off Asbury Park, and Atlantic Sea Island has proposed a $1.7 billion terminal on a 62.5 acre artificial island 19 miles east of Sandy Hook.

Delaware officials blocked a proposed terminal in the Delaware River in South Jersey, while another proposed terminal in the Long Island Sound was rejected by Connecticut and New York State officials.

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