Gov. Crist Lends Support to Port Dolphin Energy Deepwater Port

Florida's Governor Charlie Crist announced, on September 11, his approval of the planned Port Dolphin Energy, LLC, deepwater port project which will provide a new source of natural gas to the state.

As part of the federal permitting process, Gov. Crist is required to express support, opposition, or take no position at all for the proposed Liquid Natural Gas receiving terminal. His favorable decision is an important milestone for Port Dolphin, which is a subsidiary of Hoegh LNG, a worldwide leader in development of floating solutions in the LNG value chain.

Port Dolphin plans to construct a deepwater port 28 miles off the coast of Manatee County. Liquid natural gas (LNG) tankers arriving at the port would link up with a natural gas pipeline running from the offshore terminal to Port Manatee and then inland for four miles before interconnecting with the state's natural gas pipeline grid. The LNG would be returned to a gaseous state onboard the vessels and fed into the pipeline to serve customers throughout west central Florida.

"We are pleased with Gov. Crist's decision to approve this very important project. When completed in 2013, Port Dolphin will be able to provide Florida utilities with another source of clean energy," said Sveinung J. Stohle, president and chief executive officer of Hoegh LNG.

The venture is expected to generate more than $150 million in direct economic impact to Manatee County and the Port of Manatee during the next 20 years.

The Governor's positive support is a major step in the permitting process that is expected to be completed by 2010 as federal, state and local regulatory agencies review and act on the permit application. Construction of the port project is scheduled to begin in 2011.

"This approval marks more than 3 years of development work on the project, and confirms Hoegh LNG's strategy to design and develop a new competitive LNG market access into the Florida natural gas market," added Stohle. "This is one of several projects of similar kind we have in our portfolio, and we are very pleased with the support the U.S. federal and Florida regulatory authorities have afforded us in this development. Port Dolphin will offer our customers new LNG import capacity and thus the possibility for marketers to diversify their sources and increase the security of supply to their consumers in the United States, while LNG owners are offered an alternative and flexible solution for access to the attractive Florida natural gas market."

The project could serve more than a million homes with energy when it is in full operation.

Considering the Environment

The project will adhere to several conditions relating to noise, construction management and environmental impact mitigation. As part of the federal permitting process the USCG published an Environmental Impact Statement which confirms that Port Dolphin will not have any long term major impact upon the sensitive and important environment that it will operate in.