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Tries again on Oregon LNG

The Canadian company whose proposal to build an LNG export terminal in Oregon was derailed by U.S. regulators last year has resubmitted its application for a bigger, more expensive project.

Calgary-based Veresen Inc. said Thursday its Jordan Cove project is now estimated to cost about US$10 billion to build, up from US$7.5 billion under its previous proposal, and would have capacity of 7.8 million tonnes per year, up from six million.

The project includes a liquefied natural gas terminal in Coos Bay, Ore., and a 370-kilometre pipeline that will bring natural gas originating in the U.S. Rockies and British Columbia from a southern Oregon hub to the terminal.

Veresen CEO Don Althoff said the new proposal submitted to the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has undergone changes to overcome landowner complaints that led to FERC's ruling in 2016 that its negative impacts outweighed its public benefits.

FERC also found that demand for the project had not been adequately demonstrated.

"Our significant efforts to optimize the design to minimize its environmental footprint and accommodate landowner requests, as well as the support of our world-class LNG buyers, should result in the receipt of the positive regulatory decisions required to build Jordan Cove," Althoff said in a statement.

AltaCorp Capital analyst Dirk Lever said the routing changes should make FERC approval more likely.

"(The previous application denial) really came down to eminent domain. To build the pipeline, you're ... going on people's property. So they changed the routing so it goes on less people's property," he said.

The new Jordan Cove application eliminates a 420-megawatt power plant, makes more than 50 pipeline route adjustments and promises to use trenchless drilling techniques to minimize environmental impacts at water crossings, Veresen said.



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