Irving's LNG project receives federal, provincial approvalsIrving Oil's proposal to construct and operate a liquefied natural gas (LNG) receiving, storage and processing facility and marine terminal near Saint John, New Brunswick will not require referral to a mediator or review panel under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, federal Environment Minister StÈphane Dion said early this month. He has referred the project back to the responsible authorities - Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Environment Canada and Transport Canada - for appropriate action. At the same time, the New Brunswick Department of Environment and Local Government has given its approval for the project.
The Minister's decision is based on the comprehensive study report for the project, including the conclusions and recommendations submitted by the responsible authorities; public comments received during the consultation period on the comprehensive study report, along with the responsible authorities' response to the comments; the implementation of mitigation measures identified in the report; and the implementation of a follow-up program.
The proposed facility is to be located at an existing deepwater marine terminal, Irving Canaport, in operation since 1970. The facility is 65 miles from the U.S. border. The current plans for the facility call for three 160,000-cubic-metre LNG tanks and a throughput capacity of one billion cubic feet of natural gas per day. Irving Oil anticipates the LNG receiving terminal to be operational in 2007.
The LNG and Multi-Purpose Pier project is the first to receive regulatory approval among LNG projects currently proposed for the East Coast. "My grandfather had the foresight to build our refinery at this location in the late 1950s when others could not see the potential in Saint John's deep water, proximity to the northeastern U.S., and the capability of its people," said Kenneth Irving. "Today our refinery is recognized as being among North America's best.
"In 1970, my father completed building North America's first deepwater terminal before the industry appreciated the potential in evolving ship sizes. Today we have one of the most modern and well-maintained deepwater facilities, which is integrated with our world-scale refiner," he continued, noting that "six years ago, our company undertook the largest refinery upgrade in North America in the previous decade."