Oregon LNG will have a minimal security impact on the Columbia River, based on information in a Letter of Recommendation issued on April, 24, 2009 by the U.S. Coast Guard. Because the Oregon LNG site is located near the mouth of the Columbia River, security measures required by the Coast Guard will have little or no impact on other river users.
In contrast, the Coast Guard has said it may require an elaborate and potentially highly intrusive full-time, all-weather camera and radar surveillance system for the entire transit route to a competing project, which has been proposed for a location 38 miles up the Columbia River.
The Oregon LNG project avoids these onerous requirements because of its location near the mouth of the river. As a result, impacts on other river users will be far less. In addition, this will allow the LNG tankers to have short, low-congestion transit to the proposed terminal in Warrenton, Oregon.
"Our approach from the beginning has been to start with what’s best for Oregon," said Peter Hansen, chief executive officer of Oregon LNG. "We spent considerable time and resources in finding the project site that will have the least impact on river traffic and urban waterfronts. The Coast Guard's report clearly demonstrates the benefit of putting local concerns first."
The Coast Guard letter also confirms that Oregon LNG's location has the flexibility to accommodate all tanker sizes up to and including the new 266,000 cubic-meter Q-Max Class tankers. This is another comparative advantage, since it could mean fewer tanker trips compared to up-river locations. Oregon LNG will be the only U.S. West Coast terminal with the flexibility to accommodate the larger, more modern and efficient tankers.
The Coast Guard's Letter of Recommendation represents a major milestone as Oregon LNG proceeds on schedule toward permit approval. Oregon LNG is the only LNG project in Oregon that has already received local land-use approvals and successfully completed all appeals. The company is currently proceeding with state approvals and anticipates approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in early 2010. Construction of the import facility and the associated pipeline is anticipated to begin by late 2010. The project is expected to begin serving customers in 2014.
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