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TransCanada, Shell plan LNG terminal

CALGARY—Pipeline and power company TransCanada Corp. plans to band together with international energy giant Royal Dutch/Shell Group to build a $700 million (U.S.) liquefied natural gas terminal off the coast of New York state.

The re-gasification terminal, named Broadwater Energy, is TransCanada's second planned for North America to take advantage of the anticipated growth in gas imports as conventional supplies wane.

The company announced plans in early September for a $660 million (Canadian) terminal in Gros Cacouna, about 15 kilometres northeast of Riviere-du-Loup near the Quebec border with New Brunswick.

The Broadwater project announced yesterday for Long Island Sound would store and regasify the imported fuel with an average capacity to process one billion cubic feet of gas a day.

"New York and Connecticut are regions specifically identified as needing additional energy supplies," TransCanada chief executive Hal Kvisle said in a release yesterday. "TransCanada is in the business of connecting gas supply to markets and the Broadwater Energy proposal is a demonstration of this commitment to delivering this safe, clean, reliable energy source for the future."

This is the second time TransCanada has put forward a proposal to build an LNG terminal on the U.S. eastern seaboard.

TransCanada's plans to build the Fairwinds liquefied natural gas re-gasification plant in Maine were thwarted earlier this year when nearby residents voted against the company and partner ConocoPhillips Co. using the fuel-depot site.

Catherine Tanna, Shell U.S. Gas & Power's director for the Americas and Africa, said yesterday that energy demand in North America is expected to increase substantially, "and Shell believes LNG is an efficient, reliable and clean way to meet this demand."

TransCanada and Shell propose to build and install a floating storage and re-gasification unit that will receive, store and re-gasify LNG, or liquified natural gas, about 15 kilometres off the Long Island coast and 18 kilometres off the Connecticut coast.

Broadwater Energy LLC would operate the plant, while Shell would own the capacity and supply the liquefied gas.

The project will need regulatory approvals from federal and state governments over the next two to three years. TransCanada and Shell have filed a request with the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for a six- to nine-month public review of Broadwater.

Provided the necessary approvals are received, it is expected the facility will be in service in late 2010.

TransCanada's Gross Cacouna project on the St. Lawrence in eastern Quebec is expected also to go through a lengthy regulatory review process.

Both TransCanada and partner Petro-Canada insist that early signs suggest plans for the liquefied natural gas terminal are being well received in Gros Cacouna.

Plans are also underway for terminals near Saint John harbour in New Brunswick and in the Strait of Canso in Nova Scotia, as well as in Kitimat and Prince Rupert on the northern coast of British Columbia.

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