April 13, 2009
Setback for Broadwater LNG project
NOAA reports that the Department of Commerce today issued a decision upholding New York State's objection to the proposed construction and operation of a floating liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal and subsea pipeline that would be located in the New York waters of Long Island Sound.
Broadwater Energy LLC, and Broadwater Pipeline LLC proposed constructing the terminal to which tankers would deliver LNG. At the terminal, LNG would be regasified and then transported to shore by way of a new 21.7 mile subsea natural gas pipeline that would tie into the regional network.
New York objected to the Project under the Coastal Zone Management Act, asserting that the proposal was inconsistent with the Long Island Sound Coastal Management Program. Broadwater appealed the State's objection to the Department of Commerce on June 6, 2008.
The Department of Commerce concluded that the Project's adverse coastal impacts outweighed its national interest, in part because its location in an undeveloped region of the Sound would significantly impair its unique scenic and aesthetic character and would undermine decades of federal, state, and local efforts to protect the region. The decision was based on the appeal record, which includes information developed by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), additional briefs and documents offered by the parties, the views of interested federal agencies, as well as a "friend of the court" brief filed by the Attorney General of Connecticut.
Today's ruling prevents the issuance of any federal permits necessary for the construction and operation of the Project. It does not, however, prevent Broadwater from developing alternate proposals for federal and state review.
Broadwater Energy is a joint venture between TransCanada Corporation and Shell. Under the proposal that was the subject of today's ruling, Broadwater proposed building a ship-like Floating Storage Regasification Unit, or FSRU, that would be about 1,200 feet long and 180 feet wide and would rise about 75 to 80 feet above the water.
By comparison, when completed, Oasis of the Seas, the world's largest cruiseship, will be 1,180 ft long and 154 ft wide, with a height above the waterline of 230 ft.