Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Tampa Offshore LNG terminal: " No Threat"

LNG expert says 3 mile buffer is good here:
A proposal to build an offshore terminal for unloading liquefied natural gas 28 miles southwest of the Tampa Bay area would not pose a threat to people onshore, an LNG expert said Tuesday.

LNG terminals should be at least three miles from densely populated areas, said Jerry Havens, a chemical engineering professor at the University of Arkansas who has studied LNG safety issues for 30 years.

Port Dolphin Energy LLC, a subsidiary of Norway-based Hoegh LNG LLC, wants to build a submersible unloading system about 28 miles off the coast for tankers carrying liquefied natural gas. At that distance, people onshore would be protected from an explosion, fire or vapor cloud resulting from a spill caused by an accident or terrorist attack, Havens said.

"There is not any event that I can imagine that could occur that far offshore that could affect anybody onshore," Havens said.

But boaters or cruise ships that get too close to a tanker filled with millions of gallons of LNG risk serious injury or even death. A significant spill of liquefied natural gas could create a fire capable of burning people three miles away, Havens said.

"The primary concern is the very large pool fires," Havens said. "We're talking about the [heat] from the fire being sufficient to cause somebody to get burned beyond the edge of the fire."

At one to three miles, the risk of serious injury is slim, Havens said.

"We're talking about a situation that applies in the worst kind of cases, where people couldn't get out of the way," he said.
More on the plan here. And here. Info on the company that wants to develop the site here, from whence the drawings of a "deep water" LNG connection come.

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