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Last Updated: Wednesday, 10 March, 2004, 12:36 GMT
Gas depot given go-ahead
Milford Haven
The LNG terminal will be at the site of the former Esso refinery
A gas terminal which will create hundreds of jobs has been given the go-ahead by planners in Pembrokeshire.

The plant will be built on the disused Esso oil refinery site at Milford Haven despite protests by environmentalists.

Global oil giant Exxon Mobil will ship liquefied natural gas (LNG) from the Gulf and unload it at the west Wales port, where it would then be treated and pumped into the UK national gas pipeline.

The company had been seeking a site for its first British LNG terminal since signing an agreement with Qatar Petroleum to supply gas from the Gulf to Britain.

Exxon says the project will create 700 jobs during construction and a further 50 permanent posts

Members of the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park approved the application at a meeting on Wednesday despite hearing concerns from protesters.

Terrorist attack

There was a demonstration prior to the meeting and around 60 people listened to committee members discuss the controversial issue.

Friends of the Earth Cymru wanted the Welsh assembly to call the application in because it says such developments should be built away from populated areas.

The campaign group claimed the terminal would 'pose an unacceptable threat to the local population'.

It said a tanker fire caused either by a collision or terrorist attack could result in a pool of fire a mile wide.

The park authority has twice delayed ruling on the project to gather information about the possible hazards.

The Health and Safety Executive has said that there was no reason to advise against the development on safety grounds.

LNG is a gas which has been cooled into liquid form so that it can be carried by tanker rather than by pipeline.

Britain is expected to become a net gas importer around 2005 and this has triggered a flurry of pipeline and LNG import schemes.

Pembrokeshire County Council has already granted permission to another company, Petroplus, to build a separate LNG site in Waterstone.




SEE ALSO:
Backer found for gas depot
14 Nov 03  |  South West Wales
Gas terminal plan's job hopes
15 Oct 03  |  South West Wales


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