Sunday, June 8, 2008

Long Beach California - No to Liquid Natural Gas Facility

LONG BEACH, Calif.—A company that tried to build a liquefied natural gas terminal at the Port of Long Beach has abandoned its plan due to local opposition.

Sound Energy Solutions, a Mitsubishi Corp. and ConocoPhillips subsidiary, said a decision by harbor commissioners to end an environmental review on the project has forced the firm to withdraw its proposal, according to a filing with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Friday.

The proposed $750 million terminal would have provided California, which gets natural gas from in-state suppliers and via pipeline from Texas and other places, with an alternative source of fuel.

Sound Energy Solutions had offered the city $500 million over 40 years in franchise and wharf fees, property taxes, user fees and other funds.

But the project was strongly opposed by environmentalists who say the terminal would not meet clean air requirements, and by others who raised safety concerns, including the potential for a natural gas explosion.

LNG is a gas that is super-cooled and compressed into liquid form for transport by ship to markets not connected by pipelines. The fuel is received at import terminals and converted back into a gas so it can be piped to users.

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