Suez Energy Pursues LNG Port

Suez Energy North America (SENA) said that its subsidiary, Calypso LNG, is pursuing the development of a submerged buoy system off the southeastern coast of Florida, known as a "Deepwater Port," that would serve as an offshore delivery point for liquefied natural gas (LNG) delivered by specially-built LNG tankers.

On March 1, the company filed a deepwater port license application with the U.S. Coast Guard, which has jurisdiction for the permitting, operation, and security for such facilities located in federal waters. The Calypso Deepwater Port is proposed to be located approximately 10 miles offshore from Port Everglades and will comprise a marine offloading buoy and anchoring system that will reside approximately 150 feet below the ocean surface when not in use.

The proposed facility will connect to an undersea pipeline operated by another SENA subsidiary, Calypso U.S. Pipeline, that will transport natural gas from the Deepwater Port to customers in Florida.

A similar project was proposed by an affiliate company of Calypso, Neptune LNG, which filed a license application with the Coast Guard for a Deepwater Port on February 15, 2005. That project will be located off the coast of Massachusetts to serve Boston and the greater New England market. Development of this offshore installation is within schedule and is targeted to be up and running in 2009.

The Calypso project is proposing to replicate many of the Neptune project's specifications in order to accelerate its licensing process and create operational synergies.

"The overwhelming feedback we have received from Florida customers is that they need additional, LNG-based gas supplies and they need them as soon as possible," said Zin Smati, president and CEO of SENA. "It is our intention to meet our customers' needs and be the first supplier of natural gas directly into the southeastern Florida market derived from LNG. We believe our Calypso project is consistent with Governor Bush's call for fuel diversification as outlined in his comprehensive 2006 Florida Energy Act."

Suez is currently the only major energy company that owns and operates LNG facilities on each side of the Atlantic Ocean--at Everett, Massachusetts, serving the New England market, and at Zeebrugge, Belgium, serving the central European market. An affiliate of Suez Energy International is also engaged in a longer-term LNG terminal development project located in Freeport Harbor on Grand Bahama Island.

"The Florida market is very important to us," said Dirk Beeuwsaert, CEO of Suez Energy International. "As our LNG supply and shipping portfolios continue to grow, the Calypso project will increase our already significant position in the Atlantic Basin and give us the critical mass to serve all of our markets with a level of reliability that will be unmatched in the industry."

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