New Brunswick

Canaport LNG raises concerns about ship traffic from Energy East

Canaport LNG feels it has received "inadequate consultation" about the proposed Energy East pipeline given its close proximity to the proposed tank farm for the pipeline project.

Company wants LNG ships given priority over oil export ships due to nature of cargo

Canaport LNG is located in Saint John and is a joint partnership between Irving Oil Ltd. and Repsol, a Spanish energy company. (CBC)

Canaport LNG feels it has received "inadequate consultation" about the proposed Energy East pipeline given its close proximity to the proposed tank farm for the pipeline project.

Fraser Forsythe of Canaport LNG told a National Energy Board public hearing in Saint John that ships coming to Canaport loaded with liquified natural gas for off-loading in Saint John will be close to the approach path for ships coming to the pipeline's export terminal.

"We are quite concerned that we have adequate consultation so we understand what the impacts might be to our terminal," Forsysthe said during Canaport LNG's appearance before the NEB panel as an intervener.

While Irving Oil Ltd. is a partner with TransCanada Corp. in the proposed export terminal for the Energy East project, it is a minority partner with Repsol in the Canaport LNG facility.

"LNG is a rather special commodity to transport," said Forsythe, noting it is stored and shipped in a frozen state.

Forsythe told the hearing Canport LNG is "generally supportive of the project."

Saint John Mayor Don Darling appeared at NEB public hearings on the Energy East project on Tuesday. (Brian Chisholm/CBC)
Forsythe said "an uninterrupted berthing window" is needed for each ship because of the technical requirements of loading frozen LNG.

Forsythe said the LNG shipments would need to have priority with the approach channel to the area or the facility's jetty would have to be moved.

TransCanada suggested conflicts between ships could be referred to the Harbour Master.

The NEB is holding three days of public hearings this week in Saint John to hear the thoughts of people and organizations about the proposed $15.7 billion Energy East project.

The pipeline would enable one million barrels of Alberta crude a day to be shipped 4,500 kilometres to a marine terminal in Saint John.

Property taxes $6.7M

TransCanada Corp. projects paying $6.7 million in property taxes in Saint John if its Energy East pipeline goes ahead, the hearing was told Tuesday.

The City of Saint John would receive $3.7 million of the property taxes paid, with the balance going to the province.

Environmentalist and fisherman David Thompson fears the "potential of a disaster" from the Energy East pipeline and export terminal. (CBC)
Saint John city council sought details from the company in January on how much in annual city property taxes the company expects to pay if the project is approved.

In the city's October 2015 application for intervener status in the NEB hearings, the city stated the marine terminal and tank farm for Energy East could bring the city $5 million in annual property taxes.

However, the reasoning behind the property tax projection was not clear at the time.

Tank farm objection

Daphne Lannon lives near the site of the proposed tank farm and told the three-person panel it "has no business being built in my backyard or anybody else's backyard either."

The tank farm would consist of 22 tanks, each about the height of a six-storey building.

Fisherman David Thompson expressed his objections to the project Tuesday "because of the potential of a disaster."

"I think one oil spill would definitely hurt, destroy what I and my family have depended on."

Thompson says he loses about 10 traps a year because of shipping and that costs him thousands of dollars in lost income.

"With 300 tankers coming in, the supporting tugs, pilot boats, it's going to generate and increase in traffic which is going to increase in gear loss," he said. "Will you compensate for gear loss?"

TransCanada officials said the environmental assessment on the project determined "There would not be a significant environmental effect on commercial fisheries."

Hearings will visit 9 cities

The public hearings in Saint John will conclude on Wednesday, with J.D. Irving Ltd., the Port of Saint John, and the Assembly of First Nations Chiefs of New Brunswick among the interveners scheduled to appear. A second New Brunswick session is scheduled for Fredericton on Aug. 15.

The regulator is scheduled to hear from 337 interveners in visits to nine cities that conclude in Kingston, Ont., in December.

The NEB is to give the federal government its report by March 16, 2018.

With files from Connell Smith