Siting concerns threaten Verdon LNG terminal in France

The "Nimby" syndrome is threatening construction of a 6 billion cu m LNG receiving-regasification terminal that the Netherlands company 4 Gas plans at Verdon just south of Bordeaux, France.

Doris Leblond
OGJ Correspondent

PARIS, Aug. 9 -- The "Not in my backyard," or Nimby, syndrome is threatening construction of a 6 billion cu m LNG receiving-regasification terminal that the Netherlands company 4 Gas plans at Verdon, 100 km south of Bordeaux at the mouth of the Gironde River (OGJ, Aug. 21, 2006, Newsletter).

France's State Secretary for Transport Dominique Bussereau wants the €400 million terminal transferred to La Rochelle, north of Bordeaux beyond the mouth of La Gironde. His constituency faces Verdon on the other side of the Gironde River mouth, and he said the terminal will spoil a "tourist area."

4 Gas General Manager for France Henk Jonkmal told OGJ he considers the minister's statement "surprising," as the terminal's proposed location is on a 700-ha industrial site. The site is now reduced to receiving containers, but some years ago it was an important oil depot supplying three refineries on the site, which subsequently have been dismantled.

Jonkmal said La Rochelle is the popular tourist destination, linked by a bridge to the trendy Ile de Ré.

A public debate is scheduled to begin in mid-September and end in December on the terminal, after which acceptance or rejection of the site will be decided, Jonkmal said. The final decision will rest with State Minister for Ecology and Sustainable Development Jean-Louis Borloo, who also is responsible for Transport and Energy.

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