LNG specialist Weavers Cove Energy has gained approval from the coastguard for its proposed offloading terminal in Mt Hope Bay, which spans the US states Massachusetts and Rhode Island.
The coastguard had vetoed an earlier proposal by Weavers Cove to bring the 145-foot-wide tankers further upriver, saying that they would be unable to safely navigate the required hairpin turns between bridges.
The revised proposal involves the tankers docking in the middle of Mt Hope Bay and pumping the cargo upriver to a storage tank through 4.2 miles of insulated pipeline.
Despite the removal of safety objections, however, the project is widely opposed by local residents on the basis of practicality and environmental preservation.
Although 29 agencies must now give their verdict on the proposal, the final decision will be made by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), which endorsed the first proposal.
Weavers Cove spokesman James A. Grasso said the company was now on track to have the berth operational by 2015.