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Friday, February 05, 2010

Security A Concern Ahead of LNG Shipments From Yemen

Yemeni LNG in Boston Harbor a worry to some

From the Chronicle:

Along the Gulf Coast the arrival of liquefied natural gas tankers typically doesn't get too much attention. We have several terminals, most of them located in somewhat isolated areas.

Not so for Boston.

The oldest operating LNG terminal in the U.S. is located in Boston Harbor, in the shadow of Bunker Hill.

So combine the expected arrival of LNG from a new Yemeni natural gas project at the terminal this month with the unsuccessful Christmas Day airline bombing based out of Yemen, and you get some worried Bostonians.

But the U.S. Coast Guard has particular security measures in place for the Yemeni shipments, according to WBZ TV:

Coast Guard Capt. John Healey said Monday the shipments, set to begin at the end of the month, have been under review for nearly a year.

Healey, captain of the port, declined to give details of the security measures but said he will decide on a case-by-case basis whether to allow each ship to continue to an offloading area in densely populated Everett, Mass.

It's the first time that shipments from the LNG plant located at Balhaf, on the eastern coast of Yemen, will be delivered to Boston. The first shipment to the United States from the plant operated by French energy giant GDF Suez arrived near Sabine, Texas, over the weekend, Healey said.

While Yemen's ports meet international security standards, American authorities say additional security is necessary.

That could include additional screening of the crew, extra inspections on the ship and making sure the condition of the ship does not change by the time it gets to the U.S., Coast Guard Commandant Thad Allen said in an interview with The Associated Press.

About 30 shipments from Yemen to Boston are expected annually during a 20-year contract with the company.

As a native of the Boston area I can attest that up until several years ago most Bostonians were hardly aware there was an LNG terminal in the city. It's located next to what used to be a veteran's hospital that was later turned into high-end condominiums (my family almost bought one of the units).

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posted by Pastorius at permanent link#

2 Comments:

Anonymous revereridesagain said...

The Everett facility does have an excellent safety record, but the concern here is neither "accidents" nor "exploding LNG tankers", but jihadists. (The WTC had an excellent "safety record" too if you didn't count 1993 and 2001.) It's not that the tanker explodes, either. It's the LNG vapor from a punctured ship that ignites, resulting in a firestorm. If the security really is airtight, there should be no problem. But you know what they say about things being "foolproof".
It's really just the general concern about the state of national security focused on this one particular hazard in a "target-rich" environment such as Boston.

Actually, we used to have more problems with that area when there was a big Monsanto chemical plant there back in the 50s-60s and if the wind was blowing the wrong way...

Friday, February 05, 2010 5:09:00 pm  
Blogger Pastorius said...

Yes, you're absolutely right. I'll take that last line out of the post.

Friday, February 05, 2010 5:14:00 pm  

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