North America LNG / LPG News
Reasons Behind Calais LNG Breakup Remain Elusive
by Diana Graettinger Bangor Daily News, Maine
February 08, 2007
It appears internal problems caused a fledgling LNG company to fall apart, but no one has said what precipitated the breakup of Calais LNG near the Maine-New Brunswick border.
Rep. Ian Emery, R-Cutler, and former Passamaquoddy tribal state
Rep. Fred Moore started BP Consulting two years ago, later changing
its name to Calais LNG.
The business plan called for a $500 million facility to be built
on a 300-acre site in Red Beach between Devil's Head Park and St.
Croix Island, near Route 1. Red Beach is a village within Calais. A
pier was to be built in the St. Croix River, across from the
Canadian shipping port at Bayside, New Brunswick. The gas would be
piped along the pier to two storage tanks on shore.
Moore and Emery sought and received the backing of the Indian
Township tribal government and for a time it appeared they would be
a rival developer to two other plans - the Oklahoma-based Quoddy Bay
LNG, which hopes to build a facility at the Passamaquoddy's sister
reservation at Pleasant Point near Eastport, and the Washington D.C.-
based Downeast LNG, that wants to build a facility in Robbinston
Then, everything started to come apart.
Last month, Emery announced he had reconfigured the company with
the help of a Texas-based company called Northeast Energy
Development LLC. Art Gelber of Gelber and Associates a nationally
recognized energy consultant specializing in energy trading
practices and protocols, joined with Emery.
Although the company put forward a new face, for months now there
have been nagging questions about what happened to the original
company. Also at issue - who put up the money for the option on the
On Wednesday, Calais businessman William Barnett answered a part
of the question. "We were a company called Downeast Property
Development, a private corporation involved in funding the land
options for Calais LNG," Barnett said. "We later made a decision to
no longer pursue that project and have no further involvement in the
project." Barnett did not elaborate, but it is known that the
company consisted of several area businessmen.
Contacted Wednesday, Emery declined to comment on the breakup.
"First off what are they saying? I'm not sure what the point of this
is other than to put something out in the media," he said.
Asked if the Calais businessmen have been compensated for their
loss, Emery declined to comment.
Although Emery had little to say, his former partner Fred Moore
did offer some insight into what had happened. He confirmed that he
and Emery had held the option on the land, but that Downeast
Property Development had put up the money.
Although he declined to elaborate on why the company unraveled,
Moore did say he walked away from it last year. "I withdrew from the
project back in August," he said. "According to the terms of my
withdrawal agreement I am prohibited from making any statements
disparaging my former business partner," he said.
But Moore did say he developed the concept of Calais LNG in an
effort to benefit the Passamaquoddy Tribe. "When it was determined
that the tribe no longer would be participating in the project, I no
longer saw a role for myself in it," he said. "It became
increasingly clear that the tribe was going to have difficulty in
negotiating successfully with members of the company and as a result
of that difficulty the tribe chose not to expend resources toward
At issue are the terms of the agreement with the tribe. Moore did
not elaborate except to say, "I didn't see the project heading in
the direction that it originally was intended to go in, so I
Weeks later, Moore was hired by Quoddy Bay LNG. That company
plans to build a LNG facility at Pleasant Point with a tank farm in
Moore said his only regret was that a lot of time and energy was
spent on the project. "I also believe that while Calais LNG didn't
go forward as originally configured, I at the same time am happy to
see the tribe taking steps to get behind one project." Moore was
referring to the Quoddy Bay LNG project.
Right now Pleasant Point, which is working closely with Quoddy
Bay LNG, has agreed to share its payments from the company with its
sister community at Indian Township. If Indian Township voters
approve a measure to enter into a tax agreement with Quoddy Bay,
then Pleasant Point will split its payment 60-40 with Indian
Emery said he would not comment on why the tribe decided to drop
the project. He also declined to talk about the breakup. "I think
Fred explained it clearly. Both sides signed a mutual agreement that
we would not discuss any of the circumstances that led to his
departure," he said.
Although Emery had little to say on Wednesday, he did comment on
the breakup during an interview with the Bangor Daily News last
month. "Although our intentions were certainly genuine and [we did]
the best that we could with the original group, things got really
complicated," he said.
Indian Township tribal Councilor Elizabeth Neptune, who served as
the point person for many of the meetings last year, did not return
a telephone call Wednesday.
Calais City Manager Linda Pagels said she didn't know anything
about the breakup.
(C) 2007 Bangor Daily News Bangor, ME. via ProQuest Information and Learning Company; All Rights Reserved
Calais LNG Project Co., LLC
Calais, ME United States