July 12, 2005: Headlines: COS - Mali: Business: Natural Gas: Economic Development: Maine Today: Mali RPCV Dean Girdis, president and founder of Downeast LNG, hopes to build LNG Terminal in Maine

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Mali: Peace Corps Mali : The Peace Corps in Mali: July 12, 2005: Headlines: COS - Mali: Business: Natural Gas: Economic Development: Maine Today: Mali RPCV Dean Girdis, president and founder of Downeast LNG, hopes to build LNG Terminal in Maine

By Admin1 (admin) (pool-141-157-23-45.balt.east.verizon.net - 141.157.23.45) on Sunday, July 17, 2005 - 4:35 pm: Edit Post

Mali RPCV Dean Girdis, president and founder of Downeast LNG, hopes to build LNG Terminal in Maine

Mali RPCV Dean Girdis, president and founder of Downeast LNG, hopes to build LNG Terminal in Maine

Girdis said that project would be built on an 80–acre site on the south side of Mill Cove, near where the St. Croix River meets the Passamaquoddy Bay. He said that the site has excellent technical characteristics so that any impact on the environment will be minimized and added that the project will meet or exceed every government safety and security requirement.

Mali RPCV Dean Girdis, president and founder of Downeast LNG, hopes to build LNG Terminal in Maine

LNG TERMINAL PROPOSED FOR ROBBINSTON, MAINE

ROBBINSTON, Maine – After more than a year of carefully researching and evaluating many different sites in New England, including nearly a dozen in Maine, a development team today announced plans to build an LNG terminal in the Washington County town of Robbinston. The proposed facility will consist of LNG storage tankage, processing equipment, a new pier and several small support buildings.

“We are excited about working in partnership with the people of Robbinston to create a state of the art, environmentally safe LNG import terminal that will create good paying jobs and promote economic development in Washington County,” said Dean Girdis, president and founder of Downeast LNG, the project’s developer.

Girdis said that project would be built on an 80–acre site on the south side of Mill Cove, near where the St. Croix River meets the Passamaquoddy Bay. He said that the site has excellent technical characteristics so that any impact on the environment will be minimized and added that the project will meet or exceed every government safety and security requirement.

Based on preliminary discussions with town officials and area residents, Girdis said that Downeast LNG believes that the people of Robbinston will be supportive of the project because of its benefits to the town and the economic opportunities it will create. The project will create about 300 construction jobs over the three-years it will take to build the facility. Once operational, there will be about 45 to 50 supervisory, technical and maintenance jobs at the facility.

Downeast LNG was founded last year by Girdis, a former Peace Corps volunteer who has 17 years of experience in economic and energy development. Robert Wyatt, an environmental consultant who has worked on permitting major projects in 39 states and several foreign countries, serves as vice president of environmental affairs. The project’s financial backers are Kestrel Energy Partners LLC, an oil and gas private equity investment firm based in New York. Kestrel Energy and Dean Girdis are the only owners of the project.

Girdis sent a letter to all property owners in Robbinston over the weekend informing them of the project and inviting them to one of two residents-only informational meetings this week in Calais. Additional public meetings will be held in Calais and Eastport later this month. Girdis said that Downeast LNG is committed to a free and open exchange of information with area residents about the project.

According to Girdis and Wyatt, Downeast LNG’s approach to the project includes:

- developing an LNG facility that delivers clean and safe energy to Maine and New England;

- working in partnership with the people of Robbinston and Washington County to create jobs and promote meaningful, sustainable economic development; and

- building a facility that has a minimal impact on the natural environment and adheres to the highest safety standards in the industry.

They also announced that once the facility is fully operational, Downeast LNG will provide up to $500,000 annually to communities of eastern Washington County to support economic development activity.

This project will require as many as 50 or more permits and a comprehensive Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) before site construction can even be initiated. Each of these major permitting steps will involve significant public comment and involvement. The permitting process is expected to take about two years.

“We’re going to do this right,” said Wyatt. “We do not expect the project to have any significant impact on the natural environment or the marine and tourism-related industries that are so important to eastern Washington County.”

Once built, Downeast LNG expects the facility to receive one ship a week on average. Ship transit from Head Harbor Passage to the pier is expected to take less than 2 hours and offloading about 12 –14 hours.

According to the developers, total gas demand in Maine has risen from 121 million cubic feet per day in 2000 to about 225 million cubic feet per day in 2004, with about 90% of gas used for the production of electricity. Maine has five gas-fired power plants located in Veazie, Bucksport, Jay, Rumford, and Westbrook. During the coldest winter days, as much as 40 percent of New England's gas supply may come from LNG.

The site of the proposed LNG terminal in Robbinston is approximately 22 miles from the natural gas pipeline that runs from eastern Canada through the state of Maine.

# # #

Key facts

The Downeast LNG Project

The location

Downeast LNG is proposing to build a state of the art, environmentally safe LNG import terminal in Robbinston, Maine, on an 80-acre site – known as South Mill Cove – where the St. Croix River meets the Passamaquoddy Bay.

The facility will consist of a single storage tank, processing equipment, a new pier and several small support buildings. Site acreage is adequate for the installation of a second storage if the demand for gas outpaces current projections. The project will meet or exceed every government safety and security requirement.

This site was selected after more than a year of carefully researching and evaluating more than 25 different sites in New England and Maine. The site has excellent technical characteristics so that any impact on the environment will be minimized.

Based on discussions with town officials and many area residents, Downeast LNG believes that the people of Robbinston will be supportive of the project because of its benefits and economic opportunities.

Downeast LNG and its approach

Downeast LNG was founded by Dean Girdis, who serves as its president and has 17 years of experience in economic and energy development. Robert Wyatt, an environmental consultant who has worked on permitting major projects in 39 states ands several foreign countries, serves as vice president of environmental affairs.

The project’s financial backers are Kestrel Energy Partners LLC, an oil and gas private equity investment firm based in New York. Kestrel Energy partners LLC and Dean Girdis are the only owners of the project.

Additional members, such as a gas supplier and plant operator, will be added to the Downeast LNG team as the project proceeds through the permitting process, which is expected to take about two years.

Downeast LNG is committed to an open and honest exchange of information with area residents and an approach that includes:
· developing an LNG project that delivers clean and safe energy to Maine and New England;
· working in partnership with the people of Robbinston and Washington County to create jobs and promote meaningful, sustainable economic development; and
· building a facility that has a minimal impact on the natural environment and adheres to the highest safety standards in the industry.

Once the facility is operational, Downeast LNG will provide up to $500,000 annually to communities of eastern Washington County to support economic development activity.

Jobs and economic impact

The project will create about 300 construction jobs over the three-years it will take to build the facility. After that there will be about 45 to 50 supervisory, technical and maintenance jobs at the facility. The project’s impact, using the State of Maine’s economic modeling, is as follows:

Construction Phase (3 years)
· Direct local construction employment 240 jobs
· Secondary employment created 1,620 jobs
· Direct and secondary employment payroll $54 million
· Expenditures (Sales) $127 million

Operation Phase (30 years)
· Direct operation employment 56 jobs
· Secondary employment created 243 jobs
· Direct and secondary employment payroll $9 million
· Expenditures (Sales) $17 million
· Tax revenue (local, county, state) $3 - 5 million

Environmental impact

This project will require as many as 50 or more permits and a comprehensive Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) before site construction can even be initiated. Each of the major permitting steps will involve significant public comment and involvement.

The project is not expected to have any significant impact on the natural environment or the marine and tourism-related industries that are so important to eastern Washington County.

LNG transport

Downeast LNG expects to receive one ship a week on average. The project is expected to have no significant impact on commercial fisheries or reduced fishing grounds access, although some water borne activities will be restricted only during ship transit and offloading. Ship transit from Head Harbor Passage to the pier is expected to take less than 2 hours and offloading about 12 –14 hours.

The typical LNG carrier can transport about 125,000 to 138,000 cubic meters of LNG, or about 2.6 to 2.8 billion standard cubic feet of natural gas. The typical carrier measures some 900 feet in length, is about 140 feet in width and needs about 36 feet of water depth, and costs about $160 million. This ship size is significantly smaller than that of a Very Large Crude Oil Carrier (VLCC). LNG tankers are less polluting than other shipping vessels because they typically burn natural gas as a fuel source for propulsion.

LNG Safety

There has been a lot of misinformation distributed about LNG. The reality is that LNG, based on its safety record and characteristics, is one of the safest and most environmentally friendly energy sources available today.

LNG has been delivered across the oceans for about 45 years without major accidents or safety problems, either in port or on the high seas. In that time, there have been more than 45,000 LNG carrier trips, covering more than 60 million miles. Today, more than 150 LNG ocean tankers safely transport more than 110 million metric tons of LNG annually to ports around the world.

LNG demand

The United States needs LNG because of growing gas demand and a decline in domestic gas production. Key issues in New England include:

· Sustained high gas prices due to growing Northeast gas demand,
· Declining gas production in Canada, particularly in our region from off-shore gas supplies near Sable Island, Nova Scotia,
· Gas pipeline supply constraints - an inability to bring more gas into the Northeast from the major southern New England gas pipelines,
· Difficulty in building new gas pipelines, and
· The availability of large quantities of competitively priced gas (LNG) from other countries.


Total gas demand in Maine has risen from 121 million cubic feet per day in 2000 to about 225 million cubic feet per day in 2004, with about 90% of gas used for the production of electricity. Gas demand for power production in the state has almost tripled from 74 million cubic feet per day in 2000 to about 200 million cubic feet per day in 2004 and is likely to continue to grow. Maine has five gas-fired power plants located in Veazie, Bucksport, Jay, Rumford, and Westbrook.

There are more than 110 LNG facilities in the U.S., most of them "peak-shaving" facilities, which store LNG for winter use. About one-third (40) of the country's LNG storage tanks are located in New England.

During the coldest winter days, as much as 40 percent of New England's gas supply may come from LNG. That is because stored LNG can be quickly and easily turned back into natural gas and delivered through the existing pipeline grid.





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Story Source: Maine Today

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Mali; Business; Natural Gas; Economic Development

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By Anonymous (stjhnbsuh71-142167184099.nb.aliant.net - 142.167.184.99) on Sunday, August 07, 2005 - 8:34 pm: Edit Post

This story is extremely disingenuous, because it omits entirely the interests of an adjoining community a mere 3 miles away from the proposed site of this LNG terminal. The reason? The adjoining community is Canadian. This proposed location of this facility is directly across from St. Andrews, New Brunswick, which depends on tourism for its well being; this proposal interferes with commerce and places the St. Andrews economy in extreme peril. It also threatens whale sanctuaries and other environmentally delicate habitats that the Canadian government has placed off limits to industrial development in the past. Girdis and his investors (Kestrel Energy Partners) must certainly have an "in" with the current Republican administration to think they can get the Canadian government to go along with this plan.
In addition to possible environmental damage, the proposal represents a direct trade of US jobs gained in exchange for Canadian jobs lost. So when Mr. Girdis wraps himself in the Peace Corp flag of good intentions, he is actually executing a clever marketing strategy aimed an enriching himself and his investors at the expense of his Canadian neighbors. Alas, this is par for the course in today's world. We all know US jobs and lives are more valuable than those of others in other countries. Congratulation to former Peace Corp volunteer Dean Girdis for this cynical approach to entrepreneurship.

By Anonymous (216.204.220.156) on Monday, August 29, 2005 - 2:29 pm: Edit Post

From the other side of Passamaquoddy Bay:
It is disappointing to see the Peace Corps website feature such a misleading article. The text of Mr. Girdis' remarks should, in my opinion, read "this is a deparate, economically-disadvantaged area, perfect for exploitation!" Just like a third-world country. Proposals like his have been rejected up and down both coasts but those communities are more affluent than this one. Our bay and all of us who live here are the perfect target, the perfect mark.
Washington County is not a third-world country or we could appeal to the United Nations perhaps. It is not even a third-world county! It is home to wonderful, courageous and peaceful people who may be very angry when all of them learn the truth. We do need jobs here but we do NOT need the type of jobs Mr. Girdis and company offer. His vision for this area is one that will bring heavy pollution which we do not presently have. In fact many people are moving here to get away from pollution in other areas of the country! One thing will lead to another: heavy industry may follow and soon the place could look something like industrialized parts of New Jersey.
And it will not bring the jobs he promises; the jobs he talks about go to highly skilled and experienced personnel who will come from elsewhere. Mr. Girdis believes that we will all be dazzled by large amounts of money. He will probably learn otherwise, as did the first developer. The growing consensus seems to be that the best location to site LNG operations is offshore. It's not a perfect solution but it is certainly better than raping pristine coastal communities.
LNG is a very complicated issue and not nearly as simplistic as the developers would lead you to believe. We who live here, appreciate the value of what we have, will work against severe odds to bring sustainable economic development. Let the Lords of LNG, coastal raiders, leave us in peace.
If any of the good people who have served in the Peace Corps can offer suggestions for other small (we are a small county) environmentally friendly businesses, they would be welcomed. Visit. See exactly what it is Mr. Girdis is asking us to give up, the price we would have to pay.
I returned here to live the remainder of my life and die in this clean, healthy extraordinary place. I wonder if I shall be granted that wish. Emotions run high here, and I deem it wise not to sign my words although I wish I could. I hope readers will understand. Thank you.

By Art MacKay (xplr-ts-t11-208-114-161-36.barrettxplore.com - 208.114.161.36) on Thursday, March 15, 2007 - 6:01 pm: Edit Post

Mr. Girdis constantly uses his Peace Corp background as he is systematically splitting families, communities and now the unique international Quoddy community that includes Canadians, Americans, and Passamaquoddy. He and his colleague Robert Wyatt are good at what they do. They "divide and conquer" using promises of riches, half truths, and downright lies.

Surely, The Peace Corp cannot condone destroying families and communities that have existed in harmony for centuries in an environment that has an "eco-economy" approaching 1 billion dollars annually. Learn more at www.bayoffundy.ca/LNG. Check the slide show. Also see www.savepassamaquoddybay.org YOu decide.


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