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American Shipper

Long Beach says no to LNG terminal

Long Beach says no to LNG terminal

The Long Beach Harbor Commission has quashed a proposed liquefied natural gas terminal development because of concerns over an inadequate environmental review.

   The project, proposed by a coalition of Mitsubishi and ConocoPhilips, would have seen an LNG terminal built in the heart of the Port of Long Beach. The plan raised the ire of certain Long Beach residents and turned into a controversial political issue ever since the city and Sound Energy Solutions (a subsidiary of Mitsubishi established to develop the Long Beach project) signed an agreement in 2003 to explore the potential of the LNG terminal.

   The harbor commission nixed the plan because it didn't appear to have the backing of the city. Long Beach City Attorney Robert Shannon called the environmental review of the project 'fundamentally flawed' because it lacked enough information regarding safety and security precautions, according to the local maritime newsletter The Cunningham Report.

   The Long Beach LNG proposal is one of many in Southern California, with owners of natural gas fields abroad queuing up to deliver LNG to the energy-hungry Southern California market. As yet, only one project in Baja, Mexico has been approved, though several others are still being proposed north of Los Angeles.

   The terminal would have neighbored the bustling Total Terminals International terminal, a collaboration between Hanjin Shipping and Marine Terminals Corp. that is the busiest container terminal in Long Beach.