Video: Weaver’s Cove Energy outlines offshore LNG plan
About 60 town residents gathered in the Old Town Hall to hear Weaver’s Cove Energy CEO Gordon Shearer explain the details of his company’s most recent proposal to bring liquefied natural gas to Fall River, a project that involves building a platform in the water about four miles southwest of the Weavers Cove tank site, about one mile from Brayton Point.
Gas would still be stored at the proposed Weaver's Cove facility, but LNG coming in to the terminal would be unloaded at the platform and the gas would be piped 4 miles up river to Weaver's Cove via an underground pipeline. The new plan is intended to allow Weaver's Cove to ship gas to this area without having to travel under the new and old Brightman Street bridges, a navigational maneuver Coast Guard reports have portrayed as nearly impossible.
“This is not a public hearing,” Board of Selectmen Chairman William P. Meehan told the crowd Wednesday night. “This is not the time to get into anyone’s face.”
The crowd complied and the only questions asked of Shearer were asked by Board of Selectmen members Eleanor Gagnon and Lorne Lawless.
“We’re trying to find a way to address concerns over the original project while addressing the energy needs of New England,” Shearer said.
The crowd featured many in T-shirts with anti-LNG messages, but there was quiet as Shearer spoke.
Shearer said the greatest part of electricity prices in the future will be set by the price of natural gas and touted the safety of LNG. He also said that this area’s need for electricity will increase 20 percent by 2012.
“It’s a tested, safe, tried, true and proven way of delivering natural gas,” he said, adding that there have been “no accidents that have created any injury to the public.”
Shearer said the pipeline taking the gas from the loading platform to the Weaver's Cove facility will be stainless steel cased in concrete and buried 5 feet deep under the bottom of the river.
“Once in place, that pipeline does not move,” Shearer said.
Shearer said if the old Brightman Street Bridge is taken down, even after the building of the platform, the company would revert to its original plan to bring tankers to Weaver's Cove and unload at that site.
“Offshore to me is off the coast,” Lawless said. “I don’t think people are against natural gas, it’s just where it’s sited.”
Gagnon questioned Shearer about commercial and recreational boating on the bay and river, which Shearer said would not be reduced by the presence of the platform or the tankers.
Shearer said he’s very well aware that many in this area are opposed to an LNG facility in Fall River.
“If there was a better place to go, we’d go,” he said, adding that, “You’re going to have the same kind of problems anywhere you go north of the Mason-Dixon line.”
E-mail Marc Munroe Dion at email@example.com.