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Lng Facility Judged Safe for California Port

Federal commission approves controversial liquefied natural gas terminal

by Glenn Hess
October 13, 2005

An environmental assessment by the staff of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) recommends approval of a controversial proposal to build a liquefied natural gas import terminal at the Port of Long Beach, in California. The Oct. 7 draft report concludes that the proposed facility would be an “environmentally acceptable” project to help California meet its growing demand for natural gas.

The LNG terminal, to be built by Mitsubishi subsidiary Sound Energy Solutions in partnership with Conoco Phillips, would provide up to 1 billion cu ft of gas per day, meeting about 10 % of the state's daily demand. The report says the terminal would be within acceptable noise and air pollution limits, and that LNG holding tanks and pipelines could withstand all but the most violent earthquake.

The report also notes that while the terminal would be an attractive target for terrorists, multiple layers of security would reduce the vulnerability. Before the project is approved or rejected, public hearings will be held in Long Beach, and a final report by FERC will be issued next year. LNG accounts for about 2% of U.S. natural gas supplies, but imports are expected to meet about 10% of total U.S. demand by 2010.


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