New LNG Proposal for Chatham County - Local news, weather, sports Savannah | WSAV On Your Side

New LNG Proposal for Chatham County

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New Proposal would convert and export LNG from Elba Island facility New Proposal would convert and export LNG from Elba Island facility

LNG,  Three letters that stir up a lot of controversy in Savannah and around the Coastal Empire.

Less than two years after the last proposal was pulled, now another plan is in the works for Elba Island's liquefied natural gas plant.
 
This time instead of importing the liquefied natural gas into the United States, the plan would now be to ship the LNG through the pipeline from Hart county to Chatham county, and then exporting LNG from the U.S. to countries overseas.

It's a $1 to 1.5 billion project between Shell Oil and Kinder Morgan.
 
The plan is to create a mobile modular liquefaction system, switching the terminal's capabilities and equipment.

It would be one of only two such plants in the continental United States, and make Chatham County a leader in energy services according to Shell.

Tuesday night the community got their first look at some of the schematics and proposals from the oil company and plant managers.

More than 50 people came out to this meeting, which is just the beginning of the process.

The company has pre-filed a request with FERC, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

Then the companies will submit a project application to FERC in late 2013,
and an environmental assessment or impact study will be issued in early 2014.

FERC will then make a final ruling on the project by mid 2014

Construction could start by the end of 2014.

Back in 2011, public hearings drew dozens of residents and local leaders who opposed the idea of LNG being trucked down Derenne Avenue and through high population areas.

A consultant pointed out that LNG's proposed route included three of Savannah's top ten most dangerous intersections.

Eventually Southern LNG pulled that application.

Both Shell and Kinder Morgan say this project is different, and won't have the same safety issues.

"This project has nothing to do with trucking LNG through the city," explains Maggie Hawkins, Communications Manager for Shell. "In fact as a result of this new export LNG project, the final pump stations will be dismantled on the island. We need the space for the MMLS equipment so there's absolutely no LNG trucking in this project."

Shell says this project wouldn't just change Elba Island's facility, it would also lead to jobs both for construction and the plant.

The next chance the public can have their say is expected to be at a meeting in May.

News 3 will keep you updated on the project.

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