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American Shipper

Chevron halts plan for Baja California LNG plant

Chevron halts plan for Baja California LNG plant

Five up and five down.

   Energy giant Chevron has become the fifth company or group of companies in recent years to withdraw from plans to build a liquefied natural gas terminal along the coast of Baja California.

   The San Ramon, Calif.-based firm said Wednesday it withdrew three key permits for a planned $650 million LNG receiving terminal near the Coronado Islands last month, effectively rendering the four-year old project dead.

   Chevron said in an statement to the San Diego Union-Tribune that an ongoing battle with U.S and Mexican environmentalists, who feared the project would harm delicate plant, sea mammal and bird habitats in the group of four islands off the northwest coast of the Mexican state of Baja California, had nothing to do with the decision. 'The decision was based on our business needs,' a Chevron spokesperson said in the Tribune.

   The project is different from the LNG import facility that San Diego-based Sempra Energy is already building in Baja California. Sempra's facility is on a site between Rosarito and Ensenada. Sempra predicts its terminal will begin operating next year.

   Excluding Sempra or Chevron, at least four other attempts to build an LNG facility in Baja California — by El Paso and Phillips Petroleum, Marathon Oil, Foss Maritime and Terminales y Almacenes Maritimos de Mexico, and Shell — have fallen by the wayside.

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