Homes close to LNG sites

PEOPLE in America live about a kilometre from liquefied natural gas plants, according to an LNG expert with 25 years’ experience in the industry.

ConocoPhillips’ Peter Micciche told a Gladstone audience at LNG Story on Friday that there were people living between half a mile to three-quarters of a mile, or 1.2km, from LNG plants in America on average.

“Japan’s average is just over a quarter of a mile,” he said.

Gladstone Industry Leadership Group chief executive officer Kurt Hiedecker said he asked the question about residences near plants due to people in the Gladstone community raising these concerns with him.

Mr Micciche manages the Kenai LNG facility, as well as LNG safety and security for ConocoPhillips.

He has spent his 25-year career in the production, storage, transportation, regulatory compliance, permitting and safety of LNG, natural gas processing and gas transmission pipeline operations.

Mr Micciche said there were some residences closer than half a mile in the US, mostly in Massachusetts where plants were built prior to 1981.

Mr Hiedecker said he was satisfied with the answers.

“All the questions I asked in that session the community had put to me,” he said.

“One of the concerns is the safety buffer around the LNG plant.

“Obviously, the LNG industry has operated in the US for a long time, so I was looking to his guidance to accepted buffer distances in the US.”

Mr Micciche also told the audience that his wife grew up across the road from an LNG plant.

“It’s very cute. She thought it was a cloud factory,” he said.

Mr Hiedecker said the session and presentations were very well done in terms of increasing community familiarisation with LNG.

“I think he (Mr Micciche) resolved a number of issues that have been raised in the community with me,” he said.

Mr Micciche said the biggest accident in LNG history occurred in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1944.

He said the plant had been built in a neighbourhood and LNG was stored in carbon steel tanks.

Mr Micciche said carbon steel was no longer used in the industry to store LNG and that particular incident stalled the industry for 20 years, until it was regulated.

Mr Micciche said during Hurricane Rita in 2005, LNG storage tanks withstood the high winds.



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