Tuesday, December 14, 2010

BREAKING NEWS: Calais LNG withdraws State of Maine applications

In a letter to the Maine State Board of Environmental Protect, Calais LNG, LLC withdrew its applications. The entire text follows:

December 14, 2010
Susan M. Lessard, Chair
c/o Terry Dawson
Maine Board of Environmental Protection
17 State House Station
Augusta, Maine 04333-0017
Beth Nagusky
Acting Commissioner
Maine Department of Environmental Protection
17 State House Station
Augusta, Maine 04333-0017 

Re: Calais LNG Project Company, LLC and Calais Pipeline Company, LLC 

Dear Chair Lessard and Acting Commissioner Nagusky: 

It is with deep regret that, by this letter, I am notifying the Board of Environmental Protection
(“Board” or “BEP”) that Calais LNG Project Company, LLC and Calais Pipeline Company, LLC
(“Calais LNG”) are withdrawing the following permit applications previously filed with the
Maine Department of Environmental Protection and currently under the jurisdiction of the Maine
Board of Environmental Protection: 
  • NRPA Application: #L-24843-TG-B-N, #L-24843-IW-C-N, #L-24843-L6-D-N,
  • Site Location of Development Application: #L-24843-26-A-N;
  • Air Emission Application: #A-1029-71-A-N;
  • Waste Discharge License Application: #W-9056-5O-A-N; and 
  • Water Quality Certification. 

Calais LNG recognizes that you, Chair Lessard, the rest of the Board, and Board staff, as well as DEP management and staff, all have made extraordinary efforts to move these applications through the DEP and BEP process in an expeditious fashion, and we are extremely disappointed that this project cannot proceed with its state applications at this time.

While we believe that it is in Calais LNG’s best interest, as well as in the best interest of the State of Maine, for the companies to withdraw their applications at this time, it is worth noting that this is being done now as a result of a significant force majeure event that has impacted all of America – the meltdown of the financial markets. It is our firm belief that, but for the extreme turbulence of the capital markets, Maine would be well on its way toward having an LNG facility in Washington County that would be capable of providing stable and secure natural gas prices for Maine’s industrial, commercial and residential consumers. 

A tremendous amount of work has been done to position this project for successful permitting, construction and operation. Millions of dollars worth of high quality scientific research and study has been undertaken with regard to the project site, the pipeline route and the Passamoquoddy Bay / St. Croix River waterway. As you may know, the project recently received a very favorable Waterway Suitability Report from the U.S. Coast Guard. We have also received all necessary local permits for the project from the City of Calais. 

Further, the Calais LNG project has enjoyed broad public support throughout this process. The City of Calais has worked with the project team from the inception of this effort. The Maine State Chamber of Commerce and its members have been stalwart supporters, as have been the Industrial Energy Consumers Group, the Professional Mariners and Waterway Users of Passamoquoddy Bay Region, Citizens for Clean and Secure Energy, Inc., and Maine Workers for a Healthier Environment. Their efforts are much appreciated by Calais LNG and, given the importance of this project to the State of Maine, we hope that their support will remain strong as Calais LNG re-groups and subsequently re-files its DEP applications.

Based upon all of those positive results, the strong support of the Community and other interest groups, the interest in this project currently being shown by various energy companies, and the general continued forward momentum of the project, we are very optimistic that we will be able to satisfy the requirements necessary for permitting in the near future, at which time Calais LNG fully intends to re-file its applications.

It has been a pleasure working with you and your very capable staffs and we look forward to continuing that positive relationship upon re-filing of the applications in the near term. In the meantime, please direct all further correspondence with regard to these matters to:

Harold Ian Emery
Calais LNG Project Company, LLC
Calais Pipeline Company, LLC
1863 Cutler Road
Cutler, ME 04626
E-mail: iemery1@roadrunner.com 

Again, on behalf of the entire Calais LNG project team, including Arthur Gelber and myself, we
thank you and your staffs for your efforts on this project to date.

Harold Ian Emery

cc: Arthur Gelber
BEP Service List
Eliza Townsend, DOC


  1. Good news for now, but with change of backers at Calais LNG, wouldn't they have to re-file anyway. Is this just a formality of quitting the old application process before beginning a new one?

  2. After Calais LNG lost its financial capacity partner Goldman Sachs, after losing its right to use the land for its proposed terminal, and having to admit it had not completed its technical reports, Calais LNG company executives Arthur Gelber and Ian Emery withdrew today from the Maine permitting process.

    Save Passamaquoddy Bay researcher and webmaster Robert Godfrey commenting on the withdrawal said, "Calais LNG took the only avenue it could take -- it withdrew its applications."

    "Calais LNG has suffered the only probable outcome from its project siting and timing. Passamaquoddy Bay is intrinsically inappropriate for LNG facilities. Even the LNG industry indicates that. And, Calais LNG began its project around eight years too late to beat others to the finish line. The US is now in a 100-year natural gas glut, eliminating the need for additional LNG import facilities. Passamaquoddy Bay and its residents are now a large step closer to protection from harmful LNG siting," Godfrey concluded.

  3. I agree Mary. Unless we finally make the Head Harbour Passage/West Isles area a Marine Protected Area, Managed Site, or a Park of some sort perhaps, this will just repeat itself over and over as it has in my lifetime and before. Its like Quebec separation ... the system allows proponents to continue trying until they win one!!!! An it just takes one .. the important "one"!

  4. See Seafood.com News Dec 15, 2010

    Canadian and American lobster and other fisheries around Passamaquoddy Bay, the large estuary on the Maine / New Brunswick border, can breathe easier today at the death of a plan to build an offshore LNG terminal in the area. The company, Calais LNG, has withdrawn from the permitting process after meeting fierce opposition and losing its financial backing.