Seaports Magazine - Fall 2013 - (Page 12)

»FEATURE LNG POISED FOR DRAMATIC GROWTH The port industry is at a crossroads regarding policy discussions and public support By Meredith Martino N orth America is home to enormous deposits of shale gas and a booming natural gas industry. The U.S. Energy Information Administration’s Annual Energy Outlook 2013 Early Release projects U.S. natural gas production to increase from 23.0 trillion cubic feet in 2011 to 33.1 trillion cubic feet in 2040, a 44 percent increase. Almost all of this increase in domestic natural gas production is due to projected growth in shale gas production. This growth is expected to drive down the price of natural gas, including liquefied natural gas (LNG) and change energy markets throughout North America and internationally. What these changes mean for ports is unclear. Ports have the ability to actively determine their role in this process – if they are interested and willing to seize opportunities to lead on policy and coordinate on projects. LNG as Commodity Currently, the United States has a limited number of LNG import/export terminals in operation. Approximately half of these eleven terminals are located on the Gulf coast; the others are on the East Coast, Alaska and Puerto Rico. Saint John, New Brunswick, is home to the only LNG terminal in Canada. While the Canaport LNG facility is located on private land, Port Saint John is responsible for maintaining waterside access to all facilities operating within its boundaries. The facility has been an import facility, but with the 12 AAPA SEAPORTS MAGAZINE Ports have the ability to actively determine their role in this process – if they are interested and willing to seize opportunities to lead on policy and coordinate on projects. changing fortunes of U.S. and Canadianbased natural gas companies, Canaport LNG is looking to modify its operations to export the fuel. Port Saint John has fiduciary responsibility for the safety and security of its operations and will be critical in approving the permitting for the change. “When there was agreement to develop an LNG facility, the port was involved from day one on environmental permitting,” said John McCann, vice president of operations and harbor master at Port Saint John. In the U.S., the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has jurisdiction over the approval of on-shore and nearshore facilities, though it coordinates with other agencies, including the U.S. Coast Guard. FERC also complies with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) by preparing environmental assessments or environmental impacts statements as necessary regarding each project. In addition to the 11 terminals currently operating in the United States, there are 10 sites in North America that have been approved for LNG terminals – some of which are under construction. There are 33 proposed or potential sites in the U.S. and Canada for future LNG export or import terminals. Most of these sites are clustered in the Gulf of Mexico or Prince Rupert, British Columbia. Addressing Safety and Suitability Misperceptions about the safety of LNG persist. LNG is not explosive, and in its vapor form, natural gas is only explosive at a very narrow range of concentrations in the air. The U.S. Coast Guard has identified primary concerns with LNG bunkering being asphyxiation and frostbite for those handling the fuel and not following property safety procedures. If an LNG spill were to occur, LNG vapors would disperse with the prevailing wind. Long Beach, California-based Amergent Techs has conducted several waterways suitability assessments for the U.S. Coast Guard. One of the most high profile assessments was for the Jordan Cove Energy project in Coos Bay, Oregon. Jordan Cove has proposed a large export terminal, which is under consideration by FERC. “There are always risks with every fuel – gas, diesel – but with LNG the question is, how do you manage those risks?” explained Amergent Principal Frank Whipple. Because people are not familiar with LNG

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Seaports Magazine - Fall 2013

AAPA Headquarters
From the President’s Desk
LNG Poised for Dramatic Growth
Harnessing Wind Power
XXII Latin American Ports Congress Welcomes the World
Energy Policies Taking Hold
Environmental Certifications Offer Tangible Benefits
A Good Neighbor
AAPA to Honor 26 Ports for Communications at 102nd Convention
New Rules for Marine Engines Reduce Port Emissions
Marine-Based Renewable Energy Creating Opportunities on a Global Scale
Curb Energy Costs to Boost Profits, Maintain Competitiveness
Considerations When Evaluating Alternative Power Sources from an Air Perspective
Halifax to Implement Shore Power for 2014 Cruise Season
Aruba Creates Port-Funded Mangrove Reforestation Project
Arica: Meeting the Challenges Presented by Innovation and the Environment
FPL to Build Next Generation Energy Center at Port Everglades
Index of Advertisers

Seaports Magazine - Fall 2013