What's Port Ambrose really all about?

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But Clean Ocean Action, a New Jersey-based nonprofit environmental organization that has been at the forefront of dozens of groups protesting Port Ambrose, remains convinced that Liberty and its partners do not intend to use Port Ambrose for imports, but rather exports.

In an Aug. 20 conference call with reporters, Cindy Zipf, COA’s executive director, and Sean Dixon, a COA attorney, laid out their evidence to support the claim that Port Ambrose would become an export facility, if built.

Liberty referred the Herald to its law firm, Holland & Knight, for questions about Port Ambrose. Holland & Knight representatives declined to be interviewed.

A transatlantic operation?

Liberty is registered in Delaware and based in New York City, but the company is a wholly owned subsidiary of West Face Long Term Opportunities Global Master L.P., an investment fund registered in the Cayman Islands that is managed by West Face Capital Inc., a Toronto-based hedge fund. West Face’s LinkedIn page lists its assets at $2.5 billion. Gregory Boland, a Canadian investor, founded West Face in 2007.

West Face also owns Meridian Holding Co., which in 2012 bought Port Meridian Energy Ltd., a subsidiary of Norwegian company Höegh LNG, which plans to build an offshore LNG import station near Barrow-in-Furness, England, on the United Kingdom’s west coast. Like Port Ambrose, Port Meridian would, if built, consist of a system of underwater buoys and pipelines, with which SRVs would dock. Plans for the two projects state that Port Ambrose could come online in 2015 and Port Meridian in 2016. Unlike Port Ambrose, Port Meridian has already received all necessary legal approvals in the United Kingdom.

Höegh is one of several engineering firms that Liberty has retained in connection with the Port Ambrose project, according to Liberty’s deepwater port license application. Liberty describes Höegh as “a world leader in LNG production, shipping, and regasification services, and in the development of new offshore LNG terminals.” Höegh would build the SRVs — ships capable of storing 38.3 million gallons of LNG — that dock at Port Ambrose, according to Liberty’s website. Höegh would also supply and operate Port Meridian.

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