Excelerate Energy's chief operating officer has taken the reins of the Texas energy company, which is building a liquefied natural gas terminal of the coast of Marblehead and Gloucester.
Robert Bryngelson, who was part of the team that formed Excelerate in 2003 and had been COO and an executive vice president, took over last week as president and chief executive officer of Excelerate from Kathleen Eisbrenner, who had been president of the company since its founding.
"It's not really going to change much at all," said Douglas Pizzi, a spokesman for Excelerate. "He really has been instrumental in developing the (LNG) project here, and he's been instrumental since the founding of the company."
Eisbrenner took a job as executive vice president of Royal Dutch Shell, an international energy company based in The Hague, the Netherlands, to manage its liquefied natural gas projects.
Pizzi said no one has been named to the COO position yet.
Prior to Excelerate, Bryngelson worked as managing director of El Paso Corp.'s global LNG group, where he was responsible for LNG infrastructure development, supply procurement and marketing for North America. Pizzi said Bryngelson was key in developing the Northeast Gateway Energy Bridge terminal off Gloucester, as well as a similar system already in operation in the Gulf of Mexico off New Orleans.
According to a statement released by Excelerate, Bryngelson has master's degrees in business administration and mechanical engineering from the University of Texas in Austin, and a bachelor's degree in aerospace engineering from Texas A&M; University.
Excelerate is building a buoy system to deliver natural gas offshore from massive tankers carrying supercooled liquefied natural gas, which will be vaporized and unloaded at the buoy to a pipeline to the region's supply network.
Crews began in May to install the pipeline from the buoy to the existing HubLine pipe, which runs under the ocean floor from Salem to Quincy. Overall, the project is on time and expects its first delivery around Dec. 1.
The fishing industry opposed the plan because the LNG terminals will be located in a stretch of ocean called Block 125. An 800-yard security perimeter around the terminals and LNG tankers will keep fishermen out of the fertile area and force them to travel longer and farther out to sea, increasing their risks. Under current regulations, fishermen have a limited number of days they can be at sea.
Those concerns led to the $23.5 million mitigation offering, including $6.3 million to the Gloucester Fishing Community Preservation Fund, a nonprofit organization to be established in Gloucester to buy and lease fishing permits from fishermen who want to leave the industry. Other mitigation money goes toward environmental concerns, particularly worries about the massive tankers striking the endangered Atlantic right whales that live in the area.
Bryngelson said the company has agreed to have its ships stay in the Boston shipping lane, which runs to Boston Harbor, as much as possible and exit the lane when close to the buoy and slow to only at 3 to 4 knots at that point.
Suez Energy North America, which is building a similar terminal about 7 miles southeast of Gloucester, agreed to pay $23.5 million in mitigation as well, with another $6.3 million to the Gloucester Fishing Community Preservation Fund. That package has not yet been paid.
Suez plans to have its facility operational by the end of 2009.
Former Gov. Mitt Romney approved both projects and the conditions attached by his Secretary of Environmental Affairs Robert Golledge Jr. on Dec. 19. Romney was authorized to approve, modify or reject the proposals under federal law as a governor of the state adjacent to the location of the projects.