First Coast Seen as Player in Natural Gas Industry; JAXChamber Joins Presentation to Analyze National Opportunities

Article excerpt

Byline: Drew Dixon

As Jacksonville continues to gain traction as an importer and exporter in the liquefied and compressed natural gas industry, a leading advocate of the industry holds a presentation with JAXChamber Friday.

David Holt, president of the Consumer Energy Alliance, a natural gas development advocacy group, will outline the national overview of natural gas opportunities. Holt acknowledged the significance of Jacksonville's advances over the past year.

"I think Jacksonville is very well situated as kind of a conduit for the rest of the state of Florida," Holt said Thursday. "But also, possibly it can be a facilitation area for CNG [compressed natural gas] and LNG [liquefied natural gas], from an export perspective and also as a regional hub."

Kevin Doyle, executive director of the Florida chapter of the Consumer Energy Alliance, will be part of the JAXChamber presentation and said Jacksonville is poised for a major impact on the local economy.

"It's in a perfect location to be a logistics center, a transportation center," Doyle said. "I think it's huge potential, if you look at other ports that have really embraced natural gas and using energy as a tool for commerce development. Jobs are created, infrastructure is created, there are huge capital investments that equal construction jobs and equal transportation jobs."

Holt said the Jacksonville slot in the natural gas industry is in an evolutionary stage and the presentation will focus on the challenges Jacksonville and Florida face in what he called "an energy revolution." He and Doyle will outline opportunities for Jacksonville. Many involve import and export potential, as well as networking with other areas of the country. …