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Elba Island LNG facility expansion

| Oct 3, 2016 | Land Use & Zoning |

This past June, energy company Kinder Morgan reported that the Elba Liquefaction Project had received approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. In obtaining permission, Kinder Morgan will be able to expand the function of the Elba Island facility. Located five miles downstream from Savannah, Georgia, the LNG facility will be able to import and export liquefied natural gas, shipping the gas to free trade countries.

For residents in the region, here are facts to keep in mind the construction begins:

1. Expansion plans

Southern LNG Company has established a liquefied natural gas terminal on Elba Island. The new plan would develop the facility, budgeting 2 billion dollars to create Movable Modular Liquefaction System trains which would connect to existing structures on the island. New liquefaction facilities would enable natural gas to be transferred to export containers.

Natural gas is liquefied to lower cost and to simplify transportation via LNG carrier ships. Supporters of LNG argue that the natural gas is the cleanest burning fossil fuel and one of the cheapest to access thanks to advancements made in fracking.

2. Economic benefit

As a result of the duration and complexity tied with its undertaking, the project will have benefits that extend beyond the paychecks earned by the hundreds of workers assigned to the task. While most of the jobs created during the construction phase will end after construction ceases, running the new facility will open up new employment opportunities in the region. Those engaged in both temporary and permanent jobs will learn new, marketable skills that can enhance future employment opportunities.

3. Environmental impact

While the supporters of the project contend that the construction will be conducted in an efficient manner that respects the environment, environmental advocates participating in the Center for a Sustainable Coast argue that there are risks connected with the new development. Areas predicted to be impacted include the marshes, wildlife and residential areas in northeast Chatham County.

As a result of the proximity of the facility, it is suggested that those living within Chatham County remain informed on the construction on Elba Island. Environmental attorneys are educated on the impact that construction of such facilities can have on the surrounding land and wildlife, should concerns arise.

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