PLEASANT POINT, Maine — An Oklahoma-based company that is hoping to construct a liquefied natural gas terminal on Passamaquoddy Bay is being sued by a Massachusetts firm over lack of payment, according to documents filed in Washington County Superior Court.
A complaint filed in court by Coler & Colantonio Inc. of Norwell, Mass., claims that Quoddy Bay LNG owes the Massachusetts company nearly $160,000 for work the engineering firm did in drafting documents for an application Quoddy Bay submitted to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.
Coler & Colantonio is hoping to recover $159,831.37 in overdue fees, plus interest, costs and attorneys’ fees, according to court documents.
To help recover the overdue payments, Coler & Colantonio is asking the court to attach a lien in the amount of $210,488.10 on the Quoddy Bay LNG office on Route 190, which is owned by Quoddy Bay principals Don Smith and his son Brian Smith.
According to the complaint, officials with Coler & Colantonio believe that “Quoddy Bay is thinly capitalized, and may be insolvent.”
Several messages seeking comment that were left this week at the Oklahoma City offices of the Smiths, who also work for a company called Smith Cogeneration, have not been returned. Calls placed to Quoddy Bay’s local office appear to be forwarded to the Smith Cogeneration office in Oklahoma City. Attempts to contact Brian Smith through his cell phone number and a local phone number also have been unsuccessful.
Last October, Quoddy Bay LNG withdrew its application to the state to build a liquefied natural gas terminal on Passamaquoddy Bay. At the time, Quoddy Bay President Donald Smith said the company was withdrawing its application temporarily because of uncertainties in the worldwide supply and demand of LNG, but he said the company’s long-term goals for Passamaquoddy Bay had not changed.
Also last October, the company’s application to FERC was dismissed over what FERC officials said was inadequate information.
Several messages left this week with Coler & Colantonio’s attorneys, Catherine Haynes and Sandra Collier of Ellsworth, have not been returned. Kenneth Stanley, vice president of Coler & Colantonio, did not immediately return a message left at his office Wednesday afternoon.
Robert Godfrey of Save Passamaquoddy Bay, a group that opposes LNG development in Washington County, said Wednesday by e-mail that the group is not surprised by the legal dispute. He wrote that Donald Smith’s energy projects have a history of stirring up controversy, and that the controversy that has resulted from the local proposal has taken its toll on the state.
“As a result, an unnecessary price has been exacted on the Passamaquoddy Tribe, on the public, on governments, on families, and on friends,” Godfrey wrote.