Wednesday, May 16, 2007

LNG Not Dead Yet?

Last night the Port Esperanza folks presented to the Long Beach City Council and got a surprisingly warm (although still cautious) reception.

Port Esperanza seeks to address proactively the two big issues that scuttled two previous proposed LNG projects: security and environmental impact.

By siting Port Esperanza 15 miles offshore from Long Beach and including a heavy security convoy to accompany incoming tankers, the safety questions that plagued Sound Energy Solutions ill-fated on-shore facility are largely answered.

And by using a warm stream of discharge water from the East Long Beach power plant to warm up the super-cooled LNG, Port Esperanza will not require internal combustion engines to heat the arriving LNG, making it a zero-emission facility (BHP Billiton’s Cabrillo Port project in Oxnard was effectively killed over emissions.)

So the City of Long Beach appears to be taking the position, “If you can minimize safety and pollution risks, and make Long Beach a lot of money, we’re willing to talk.”

The project ultimately has to be approved by a gaggle of state and federal agencies, but support from the City of Long Beach could be an important barometer for the project's prospects for success.

Council receptive to offshore LNG plan [Long Beach Press Telegram]