FLORIDA'S FIRST LIQUID NITROGEN GAS PLANT PROPOSED FOR BROWARD, TO BE SHIPPED BY RAIL THROUGH THE TREASURE COAST - COMMISSIONER ROBIN FISHER IS EXCITED
Two hearings are scheduled on a conditional-use permit for a proposed liquefied natural gas plant in Titusville. Both hearings will be at Titusville City Hall, 555 S. Washington Ave:
•Titusville Planning and Zoning Commission: 6 p.m. Jan. 21
•Titusville City Council: 6:30 p.m. Jan. 27
Florida East Coast Industries wants to build a $250 million liquefied natural gas production and distribution plant on undeveloped land it owns west of U.S. 1 in Titusville — a project the company says would be the first of its kind in Florida.
Company officials say the plant would offer the region a supply of clean-burning fuel; create construction and permanent jobs; spur spinoff businesses; and generate millions of dollars a year in property taxes for Brevard County, Titusville and the Brevard Public Schools.
An affiliated company of Florida East Coast Industries called Tico Development Partners LLC plans to build the plant at the south end of Titusville, on a site southeast of Space Coast Regional Airport and north of an Orlando Utilities Commission power plant.
It hopes to receive a conditional-use permit from the Titusville City Council this month to build the plant; start construction soon after that; and be in operation in mid-2016.
The plant would draw conventional natural gas from existing pipelines. The gas then would be purified and liquefied by cooling it to minus 260 degrees Fahrenheit. According to a permit application submitted to the city of Titusville, the facility would operate around the clock, and could produce up to 1 million gallons of LNG a day.
The liquefied gas would be temporarily stored in a 5 million-gallon storage tank at the Titusville site, then loaded onto special 10,000-gallon insulated shipping containers to be transported by truck or rail.
The closest LNG facility in operation is in Macon, Georgia, according to company officials.
"Natural gas will be critical to the region," said Husein Cumber, executive vice president of corporate development for Florida East Coast Industries. "We saw an opportunity to fill that gap. As we look at where the demand is, we see the Space Coast as being a location that we need one of these facilities in order to continue economic growth."
Liquefied natural gas can be use for some trucks, cargo ships, water pumps, generators and as rocket fuel.
Company officials say LNG is about 30 percent cheaper than diesel as a fuel source.
"I think it's pretty exciting," said Brevard County Commission Chairman Robin Fisher, whose commission district includes Titusville. "It's innovative. They're taking a lead on alternative fuels. I think it's a great project."
Officials of Florida East Coast Industries have been meeting with various organizations and individuals in North Brevard County in recent weeks to brief them about the project, and say they have not run into opposition.
The proposal will go to the Titusville Planning and Zoning Commission on Jan. 21 and to the Titusville City Council on Jan. 27 for the needed conditional-use permit, the first of six approvals needed from city officials. The project also will need several permits from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.