SUEZ Energy North America
's subsidiary, Neptune LNG LLC, announced today that the Neptune offshore LNG facility has received its Deepwater Port License. Neptune is the first offshore LNG project on the United States
' East Coast to reach this milestone. The license will allow Neptune LNG LLC
to build, own, and operate the Neptune offshore LNG delivery system in Massachusetts Bay.
The Maritime Administration is responsible for issuing a Deepwater Port License under the Deepwater Port Act of 1974.
The Neptune project will fill a growing need in Massachusetts and New England as demand for natural gas in New England is expected to increase by 1 to 2% per year over the next two decades, with Massachusetts alone accounting for half of the region's natural gas consumption. At this rate of growth, the region could face a shortage of natural gas supply approaching 500 million cubic feet per day in the year 2010 unless new capacity is added.
The Neptune project is being developed to provide between 400 and 750 million cubic feet of natural gas per day -- enough to serve 1.5 million to 3 million homes daily.
Neptune LNG anticipates having a fully operational project, including construction of a lateral pipeline connection to HubLine(SM), the existing sub-sea pipeline, specially designed ships, and the LNG supply to serve customers in Massachusetts and the rest of New England in 2009.
In December 2006, SUEZ committed to promote job opportunities for U.S. mariners on both its existing fleet of LNG ships serving the U.S. and on the vessels to be used for the Neptune deepwater port.