Repauno Works LNG Terminal
|This article is part of the Global Fossil Infrastructure Tracker, a project of Global Energy Monitor.|
Repauno Works LNG Terminal is a proposed LNG terminal in New Jersey, United States.
- Owner: Delaware River Partners
- Parent: Fortress Transportation and Infrastructure Investors LLC
- Location: Greenwich Township, New Jersey, United States
- Coordinates: 39.841886, -75.299108 (exact)
- Status: Proposed
- Type: Export
- Start Year:
Note: mtpa = million tonnes per year; bcfd = billion cubic feet per day
In June 2019, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported that a New York investment firm was quietly laying the groundwork to build a major LNG export terminal from a former DuPont explosives factory near Philadelphia. The terminal will export Pennsylvania’s Marcellus Shale gas to foreign markets. The plan to revive DuPont’s former Repauno Works in Greenwich Township, a shuttered dynamite factory on the Delaware River that is still contaminated 20 years after it closed, has gathered support from South Jersey elected officials. Environmentalists oppose the project. Opposition groups include the Delaware Riverkeeper Network and the New Jersey Sierra Club. To reach Gibbstown, the gas would be transported in trucks or rail cars from Wyalusing in northeastern Pennsylvania to a Delaware River port in Gloucester County. This follows federal approval by the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration in July 2020 of the US’s first LNG-by-rail permit which would allow trains to carry liquefied natural gas (LNG) across the country. Fourteen states — including Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware — and the District of Columbia have filed a legal challenge to the new federal rule as they say it poses health, safety, and environmental risks.
In June 2019, the multi-state Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) conducted a hearing in West Trenton on the company’s application to build a US$96 million, 1,600-foot-long pier to load tankers at Repauno, also known as the Gibbstown Logistics Center. The DRBC says its review is confined to the impact of dredging and wharf construction. The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) approved an application to modify the property’s land-use permit in 2018, which mentioned LNG among several fuel commodities that would be transloaded at Repauno, along with automobiles, perishables, and “other bulk cargo.” The DEP also issued a waterfront development permit for the project but suspended the permit after activists complained that public notification was inadequate.
In September 2020, a DRBC vote on whether or not to approve the project was postponed with officials stating that additional time was required for review and deliberation owing to the extent and complexity of the project documentation under scrutiny. On December 9, the DRBC approved a permit for construction of Delaware River Partners LLC's marine terminal in Gibbstown, making possible the exporting of liquefied natural gas from the terminal. The DRBC comprises the governors of Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey and Delaware, plus a representative from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and it said that its approval did not consider the type of cargo to be shipped from the terminal, merely the impact on water resources from construction of the dock and dredging. Four of the commissioners voted to approve the Gibbstown project, with New York abstaining. Two weeks after the DBRC approval, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy said he would try to stop the plan to ship liquefied natural gas through the LNG export terminal at Gibbstown. Murphy told media that New Jersey's vote at the DRBC in favour of the project was on the issue of whether to allow dredging for construction of the dock but that his administration remained committed to its clean energy policies, and so would do everything in its power to prevent the new dock being used to transport LNG.
A group of health professionals and 133 environmental groups submitted letters to DRBC calling for a no vote on the project. Local government bodies, including Lehigh County, Kutztown Borough, and Clarks Summit in Pennsylvania and Runnemede Borough in New Jersey, have passed legislation opposing the transport of LNG through their communities. Several Philadelphia City Council members have indicated similar concerns, noting that a rail or truck route through densely populated parts of Pennsylvania and New Jersey to arrive at Gibbstown would expose Black, brown and low-income communities to the most intense zones of impact in the event of a derailment or explosion. According to the New York Sierra Club, further problematic aspects connected to the project, which DRBC ought to be weighing, are: whether the operation would stimulate fracking and boost greenhouse gas emissions, running counter to the climate goals of all four basin states; whether the Delaware River’s water quality would be hurt, and; whether endangered species of fish would be impacted.
Articles and resources
- Andrew Maykuth, The ‘hidden’ plan to remake an old dynamite factory near Philly into a major gas export terminal Philadelphia Inquirer, June 9, 2019
- Hannah Chin, No ‘bomb trains’: 14 states aim to take new rule on LNG transport off the rails, WHYY, Aug. 21, 2020
- Hannah Chin, DRBC postpones vote on Gibbstown LNG terminal, citing need for more study time, WHYY, Sep. 11, 2020
- Delaware River commission approves Gibbstown, New Jersey, LNG terminal, Reuters, Dec. 9, 2020
- John Hurdle, Gov. Murphy now says he will try to block transport of LNG at new Gibbstown dock, NJ Spotlight News, Dec. 28, 2020
- Jon Hurdle, "Foes of Gibbstown LNG plan hope DRBC delay means project can be stopped," New Jersey Spotlight News, Sep. 15, 2020