Experts Outline Safety of Proposed LNG Deepwater Port

On May 28, project managers held an informational public meeting to help residents and interested parties in Broward County, Fla., learn more about the proposed Calypso Liquefied Natural Gas Deepwater Port.

This liquefied natural gas (LNG) project is being designed to be located approximately eight to 10 miles offshore of Broward County, northeast of Port Everglades, and will provide South Florida with a new supply of natural gas.

Local residents, public officials, and media attended the forum to hear remarks from SUEZ Energy North America and the U.S. Coast Guard and participate in a question and answer session. The meeting, led by an outside moderator, focused on putting to rest any questions about the safety and security of the project.

Dan McGinnis, vice president and project manager of the Calypso project, gave a comprehensive overview and addressed many concerns. "I want to say something to you that I, and those who have decades of experience in this business know – this project is safe. I, my company and the capable people in the U.S. Coast Guard would not allow this project to be built if it couldn't be operated safely. Period," McGinnis said.

Representatives from the U.S. Coast Guard spoke about the issued Draft Environmental Impact Statement and Independent Risk Assessment, both of which affirmed the Calypso project is safe and poses minimal risk to the environment. Their reports state that, even in a worst-case credible scenario, coastal communities would not be harmed in any way.

"Natural gas has been safely used to produce electricity for decades, and it emits 40 to 50 percent less greenhouse gases than oil or coal," said Barry Heimlick, president of the Florida Energy Imperative, a non-profit organization that advocates energy conservation, clean energy alternatives, and greenhouse gas emission reduction. "The Calypso Deepwater Port will provide a second reliable source of natural gas to meet Florida's growing demand while energy conservation methods and solar, wind, and other non-emitting power technologies are developed and deployed. And, it will be over eight miles offshore – far from sight."

The Calypso DWP team has worked to carefully complete all aspects of the permitting process, taking many steps to abide by the environmental and safety requirements of the numerous regulatory agencies involved over the last five years.

"We have had an open dialogue with more than 40 local environmental organizations and community groups for years, working hard to ensure the Calypso design reflects a harmony of their needs," said McGinnis. "Rising energy prices affect everyone, and the Calypso Deepwater Port is a safe, environmentally-friendly solution to Florida's ever-growing need for clean energy."

The Calypso Deepwater Port is an anchor and buoy system that will deliver natural gas to an undersea pipeline. The facility will be designed to moor specially built tankers that store and transport LNG, which will be returned to natural gas on board the ship before being transferred to an undersea pipeline. It will have the capacity to deliver more than 1 billion cubic feet per day of natural gas, the equivalent of approximately 25 percent of Florida's peak demand for natural gas on a hot summer day, to an onshore interconnect in Florida.

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