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Hearing officer OKs Delaware River LNG dock

by Erika Green

An adjudicatory hearing officer has recommended that Delaware River dock to serve a liquefied natural gas export terminal in New Jersey should remain as approved, Kallanish Energy reports.

The report was filed last week by hearing officer John D. Kelly on the project by developer Delaware River Partners, a subsidiary of New Fortress Energy LLC.

The parties involved have 20 days to object to Kelly’s findings, before the report and any objections go to the Delaware River Basin Commission, which can accept or reject Kelly’s findings.

There is no schedule for the commission to act on his recommendation, said the government regulatory agency that oversees the Delaware River.

Critics had argued that the commission in June 2019 did not allow enough time for public comment in approving the project that would allow two tankers to dock at Gibbstown on the Delaware River in New Jersey’s Gloucester County and the project should be reconsidered.

Kelly said the Delaware Riverkeeper Network made its arguments against the approval, but “the effort and evidence were insufficient to carry the burden.”

The evidence “has not demonstrated any substantial impairment or conflict with the plan for Dock 2 Project,” he said in the conclusion of his 102-page report.

“Accordingly, it is recommended that the Dock 2 Docket should remain as previously approved by the commission,” Kelly said.

Kelly had directed a seven-day hearing on the matter last May.

The LNG that would be loaded onto the tankers would come from the Marcellus Shale in northeast Pennsylvania under the New Fortress plan

It would be moved by truck and rail about 200 miles to the New Jersey site.

The company has gotten a special federal rail permit to be allowed to move LNG by rail in specially designed rail cars.

Construction started last fall at a New Fortress liquefaction plant in Wyalusing, Pennsylvania. It is expected to be operational in late 2020 or early 2021.

New Fortress has said it has signed a 15-year contract with unnamed producers to acquire all the needed feed gas in Bradford County.

The company has plans for a second facility in Pennsylvania. It would be operational in first quarter 2021.

Each plant would produce 3.6 million gallons of LNG per day or 2.15 million tons of LNG per year.

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