The Maine Board of Environmental Protection today granted a company attempting to build a liquefied natural gas terminal in Calais another month to find a new investor.

A lawyer representing Calais LNG had sent a letter earlier this week to the board, saying it needed until Sept. 11 to line up a financial backer. Last month, the company abruptly pulled out of a long-planned hearing on its permit application for the project. A week later, the company said its lead investor, GS Power Holdings LLC, was selling its share and it was looking for another investor.

Calais LNG asked the board to give it until Aug. 11, and the board agreed. But on Monday, the company said it was engaged in talks with potential financial partners and needed more time. The board granted that request today.

In a letter to the company, Susan Lessard, the board’s chair, said that because of the complex nature of the proposed project and the fact that the burden of proof is on the applicant for compliance, she would grant the request to put the permit application on hold for a limited time.

Opponents had argued that Calais LNG doesn’t deserve an extension. The Conservation Law Foundation pointed out that it was the company that had set the Aug. 11 deadline, and that it appears to lack the financial capacity to continue with the project.

The Roosevelt Campobello International Park Commission noted that Calais LNG had made three requests for an extension, an indication that the company doesn’t have the funding to carry out the project and should withdraw its application.

In her letter, Lessard noted that the company’s financial capacity isn’t a threshold requirement at this point in the process, under the state’s site development law.


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