Last week, the Jordan Cove project achieved a major milestone. On Sept. 21, we filed new applications to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for the Jordan Cove Energy Project and Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline. The two applications totaled approximately 31,000 pages and are the culmination of a tremendous amount of work. We sought to leverage all of the environmental and engineering work done on the project since inception to create a complete record for FERC’s development of an up to date environmental impact statement. Electronic copies of our applications can be found at libraries in the four counties of Coos, Douglas, Jackson and Klamath with a paper copy in the main libraries in Coos Bay, Sutherlin, Medford and Klamath Falls. The applications are also available on our web site: www.jordancovelng.com.
I am writing this today to clear the record from the last permitting cycle and ensure there is a clear understanding of our new proposal. We have implemented a number of design optimizations that are, in part, the direct result of comments received from stakeholders. We have heard your concerns and have tried to address them in our new applications. The most material change we have made is to eliminate the power plant and utilize a direct drive gas turbine configuration at the LNG plant. This change reduces the project’s footprint, eliminates the need for 1 million gallons/day of water for cooling and allows us to relocate our workforce housing during construction from North Bend to our South Dunes site. This is a much better solution from a construction perspective and addresses concerns expressed by some of our neighbors in Simpson Heights.
A number of Coos County landowners had expressed concern with the routing of the pipeline between miles 11 and 22, as the pipeline approaches the coast. We listened and are now proposing the alternative Blue Ridge route as our preferred route. This route decreases impacts to fisheries and streams while decreasing landowner impacts. We further optimized the pipeline route to eliminate the open cut and fill in the Haynes inlet. We are now proposing two horizontal directional drills so that the pipeline crosses the inlet deep beneath the channel bed, therefore avoiding impacts to water quality, fish weirs and oyster growing operations.
In total, we have made 54 pipeline route modifications, often at the request of landowners, resulting in a reduction of 33.4 acres impacted by the pipeline. We have also been able to reduce the the number of impacted private landowners to 227, excluding commercial timber companies, while reducing the total pipeline length to 229 miles from 235 miles. We are also making progress in securing voluntary easement agreements from these private landowners. These owners own approximately 38 percent of the total right of way required for the pipeline and we have secured voluntary agreements with approximately 40 percent of them to date with work ongoing.
We are particularly excited about our revised Kentuck mitigation project. We are required to provide mitigation for impacts to wetlands, but we are going far beyond what is required. Instead of rehabilitating a 30-acre portion of the Kentuck golf course, we have decided to rehabilitate all 100 acres of the golf course to create habitat for the Coho Salmon and other wildlife. The Kentuck project is being designed with input from state and federal agencies, marine experts and the Kentuck neighbors. Once completed, it will not only create vital Coho Salmon habitat, but will become an enjoyable environment for neighbors and an environmental and cultural learning experience for the region’s students and tourists.
Beyond these local improvements, Jordan Cove is progressing on the commercial front. We have commercial commitments with some of the biggest and most respected LNG importers in the world; we held an “open season” for the pipeline and now have 96 percent of the pipeline capacity subscribed.
We are confident that the hard work and significant effort put into this optimized design will be reflected in the approval of our permit applications. As a result of the design optimizations, the project will result in fewer environmental impacts than our previous proposal. From a commercial perspective, we have advanced with heads of agreement with two large Japanese buyers and continue to garner interest from new customers in Asia. From a community perspective, we have received bi-partisan support at the federal, state and local level and appreciate the support from thousands of Southern Oregonians and in particular the residents of Coos County.
There is still much work to do, but we look forward to a vigorous public discussion and to earning your trust as a responsible corporate neighbor. After all, we plan on being a cornerstone company in Southern Oregon for decades to come.
Betsy Spomer, CEO
Jordan Cove LNG