Gulf LNG Demonstrates Safety Of Terminal - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

04/06/05

Gulf LNG Demonstrates Safety Of Terminal

"People's human nature tends to be concerned about things they don't understand. One of the best things to do is show them what LNG is, let them see it, even let them touch it if they want to,"Gulf LNG Energy Economic Director Wayne Christian says.

That's exactly what Gulf LNG officials did at Pelican Landing.

They showed liquefied natural gas at a chilly 260 degrees below zero coming into contact with room temperature. They're using the demonstration to help ward off any safety concerns, like possible explosions.

"It will not explode when it's unconfined," Christian says.

Or, they say, when it's in a tank.

"Tanks are just big thermos bottles. They are tanks within a tank with three feet of insulation in the walls," Gulf LNG Energy Pascagoula Project Manager John McCutchen says.

McCutchen says the tanks have no oxgyen inside, no ignition source, and no intense pressure.

"We normally keep it at about 1 lb of pressure," McCutchen says.

They say even if a missile were to hit, there would still be no explosion.

But what about a spill?

"Quickly vaporizes and goes into the atmosphere, it's doesn't spill or contaminate anything," McCutchen says.

What if it collects in one spot?

"We're going to pretend this is the tank spill area and we are going to spill it out all over the ground," McCutchen says.

He says liquefied natural gas isn't flammable.

"What you're seeing here is the natural gas burning. The LNG is not burning. It's actually having to vaporize back into a gas, warm up, get enough air into it support combustion, then it has to have an ignition source."

However, Gulfport resident Glen Sandberg says not everyone's convinced the LNG terminal is safe.

"We've got a lot of years of technological advancement behind us, but it's always the disasters are something we didn't expect and didn't plan for. I'd feel better if it's off shore frankly," Sandberg says.

By Jaimee Goad

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