Coast Guard reaffirms unsuitability finding for Weaver’s Cove LNG terminal proposal

BOSTON – In a letter to Weaver’s Cove Energy, LLC executives and their representatives today, the Coast Guard reaffirmed its determination that the waterway approach to the proposed Weaver’s Cove Liquefied Natural Gas terminal in Fall River, Mass., is unsuitable for LNG tanker traffic due to navigational safety challenges.

Weaver’s Cove Energy, LLC filed a letter Nov. 20, 2007 claiming the Coast Guard did not fairly evaluate all the supporting documentation when it determined that a segment of the transit route extending from Sandy Point to the Weaver’s Cove site presents significant navigational safety challenges to the proposed LNG vessels’ size and transit frequency.

“After a thorough review of your request, including its exhibits and other documents referenced therein, I find no substantive issue, nor new information, that would suggest my recommendation of unsuitability was incorrect or made without due consideration of the record,” Capt. Roy Nash, the Coast Guard Captain of the Port of Providence, said in the letter.

The Coast Guard announced Oct. 24, 2007, that the waterway is unsuitable for the proposed LNG tanker transits as vessel masters would face extraordinary challenges during approaches to Weaver’s Cove. Chief among the Coast Guard’s concerns is the limited maneuvering room between the old and new Brightman Street bridges. The bridges are nearly parallel to each other and are only about 1,100 feet apart. The opening in the old bridge is only 98 feet wide and is not aligned with the new bridge opening. The proposed tankers are well over 700 feet in length, over 80 feet wide, with drafts up to 37.5 feet.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) is the lead agency for permitting construction of LNG facilities. The Coast Guard assists FERC by conducting a waterway suitability assessment and offering safety recommendations based on those findings.

For more information about FERC and its approval process, visit FERC’s website at http://www.ferc.gov/.

A copy of the Coast Guard’s letter is available online at: https://www.piersystem.com/go/doc/778/185577/

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