NO TO LNG | 14.02.2007 08:26 | Climate Chaos
ACTIVISTS SHUT DOWN CONSTRUCTION OF LNG TERMINAL IN MILFORD HAVEN
Eight people have physically blocked the site access road, south of the village of Herbranston, S. Wales, preventing construction vehicles from entering the giant LNG terminal.
These protestors, inspired by the 2006 Camp for Climate Action, are targetting the construction of the Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) terminal and pipeline in South Wales. The actions aim to disrupt the work to the largest extent possible. Climate chaos is the greatest threat humanity has ever faced yet the British government and a conglomerate of Corporations are recklessly constructing this new carbon intensive energy project.
The development of LNG terminals in the UK is locking us into thirty years of yet more fossil fuels, in an era in which dramatic cuts in carbon are crucial. The Department of Trade Industry last week, gave permission for phase two of the LNG pipeline to be built. Yet, this project starkly reveals the incompatibility between the so-called need for ‘energy security’, and the far more pressing need to substantially diminish our use of fossil fuels.
Limiting global warming to a 2 degree increase with a relatively high certainty requires the equivalent concentration of CO2 to stay below 400 ppm. Achieving this means rich countries, like the UK, cutting their average emissions by around 90% by 2030.
A protestor said “A 90% cut in 25 years is going to require not just new technologies, but different cultures, different economies, different expectations - in short, a different way of life.”
The development of LNG terminals in the UK opens up previously unavailable carbon intensive natural gas to our energy markets, to the severe detriment of support for clean decentralised renewables. Furthermore, bringing gas from the Middle East is a much more energy intensive process than retrieving gas from the North Sea.
There are also substantial safety issues attached to this project. Studies show that an accident or terrorist attack at the Milford Haven terminals would cause “major injuries and significant damage to structures” within a radius of a third of a mile and could cause second-degree burns more than a mile away.
The terrain through which the pipeline will run has been extensively mined and is prone to subsidence in places. Needless to say, the installation of a massively pressurised gas pipeline through unstable land is highly dubious. Locals, fearing for their safety, have had their questions ignored. Concerns about the material used and quality of welding employed have not been properly addressed. Many members of affected communities continue to vocally protest, but with little recognition.
Protestors have chosen to take direct action today to show their solidarity with communities along the pipeline and to stop this morally indefensible fossil fuel de-struction project.
Contact: Sarah White 07901862522
Notes to Editor
Gas, liquefied in Qatar by cooling to -162C, is going to be shipped to West Wales on super tankers. There, at Milford Haven, it will be regasified in one of the two onshore terminals being built by:
· Dragon LNG, a consortium whose main partner is the BG Group (formerly British Gas).
· South Hook LNG, part of a new business, Qatargas II,owned by Qatar Petroleum and Exxon. This £6 billion project finances the work from well to terminal. It is the single largest energy-project financing ever and this terminal alone will be the biggest LNG receiving terminal in the world.
The Pipeline: National Grid are connecting the gas to the national network. They are doing so by building a pipeline in two phases from Milford Haven to Gloucestershire. Phase 2 of the project was given the green light on 7th February 2007. This huge pipeline, 4ft in diameter, will run at 94bar pressure – that is 96kg/cm2.
National Grid’s (formerly known as Transco) Safety Record
In 1999, a family of four were killed in Scotland when a high pressure gas pipe exploded by their home. Massive corrosion in the pipeline, and a failure on the part of National Grid/Transco (NG/T) to keep adequate records on what kind of pipes were being used, led to the explosion. Corrosion has already been seen on the welds in the South Wales pipeline
Since privatisation, NG/T have shed thousands of engineering jobs and cut maintenance work. In 2000 it was revealed that Transco had underspent its agreed pipeline maintenance and replacement programme by £358m over the previous two years. This same corporation, accountable to only its shareholders and board, is now responsible for the safety of thousands of people along the route of this pipe, which is run at a pressure, unprecedented in Europe and US, of which National Grid have no experience of running. Already, there is evidence of their cost saving strategy: the Health and Safety Executive stipulates the use of polyethelene in gas piping, yet National Grid is using other materials.
 The agreement was the third-largest project financing of any kind, after the Channel Tunnel and a Taiwanese high-speed rail financing. Banks with major roles in the project financing include HSBC, Barclays, Royal Bank of Scotland and Citigroup.
NO TO LNG