LNG plan scrapped — for now

Developer pulls plug on proposed terminal off Long Beach


A plan to build a liquefied natural gas terminal off the coast of Long Beach has been scrapped, amid an outcry by numerous environmental groups and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who criticized the proposal and said that it would negatively impact the environment.

Last week, the Herald reported that in 2010, New Jersey-based Liberty Natural Gas LLC filed an application with the U.S. Maritime Administration and U.S. Coast Guard for a license to construct a natural gas offloading system roughly 19 miles south of Long Beach and 30 miles east of Monmouth Beach, N.J.

On April 3, more than 30 environmental organizations — including County Legislator Dave Denenberg’s Taskforce against the LNG Island and the Surfrider Foundation — called on the federal agencies to deny the application, saying that the terminal would hurt the environment, increase the region’s dependence on foreign fuel and create the potential for an offshore catastrophe or terrorist attacks.

Called the Liberty Offshore Project, the terminal was to deliver much-needed natural gas to the region, according to Liberty Natural Gas. Under a revised proposal, the terminal was to connect with the existing Transco natural gas pipeline, which extends from South Texas to New York and runs under Long Beach.

The plan included an offshore pipeline facility with two submerged turret loading buoys that would receive natural gas from “re-gasification” tankers and transfer it to the Transco pipeline system.

In an April 10 letter to the Maritime Administration, however, the company said that it was withdrawing its application, saying that additional survey work is needed after it completely redesigned and scaled back the project last year from four buoys to two and eliminated the construction of an onshore pipeline, among other revisions.

The company’s application was also amended in February to change the terminal’s initial location — 16 miles south of Asbury Park, N.J., and 25 miles south of Rockaway, which critics said placed the terminal closer to New York and in proximity to a proposed windmill farm.

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