Planning appeal made for world's original LNG import terminal

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13 March 2007

Partners in the Canvey LNG project are today (Tuesday 13 March) submitting a planning appeal to the local authority, Castlepoint Borough Council, which rejected a planning application to redevelop the world's first liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminal at Canvey Island in Essex.

Centrica plc (parent company of British Gas), Calor Gas, LNG Japan and Osaka Gas are submitting the appeal to turn Canvey into an LNG import terminal capable of meeting around 5% of the UK's gas demand from 2010. The terminal would be a reinstatement of LNG capability (a brownfield project), holding no more than the original volume of LNG as was on site during the period 1964-1990.

Canvey Island was the world's first LNG import terminal built in the 1950s and receiving its first commercial cargo of LNG from Algeria in 1964. It went on to receive over 900 cargoes of LNG between 1964 and 1990 for British Gas, before being turned into an LPG import terminal run by Calor Gas. The site is located in an industrial area of the Thames estuary close to two oil refineries and a gas fired power station built after Canvey's original development.

The Canvey partners are challenging the planning rejection made by Castlepoint Borough Council in September 2006 which stated that "the council found that the consortium had not provided sufficient evidence that the scheme was sufficiently "in the national interest" to outweigh concerns that the new plant would have an adverse impact on the local environment." The rejection was also made without formal input of the Health & Safety Executive, which has been working with the Canvey partners to overcome concerns raised at local level.

Canvey could be vital in terms of the UK's long term security and diversity of energy supply - LNG is set to account for between 25-50% of UK gas by 2020 and while the UK has two operational LNG import terminals (Isle of Grain and Teesside) and two being built (Milford Haven), the partners see diversity of import routes as vital, particularly given Canvey's location on the banks of the Thames close to the high gas demand area of the South-east. With 24 new global LNG projects either proposed or being developed in the Middle East and Africa that could supply key markets of NW Europe in the period after 2010, Canvey could aid diversity of supply for the UK.

The Canvey project is led by Calor Gas, with Centrica providing the project manager.

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