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Last Updated: Monday, 4 December 2006, 14:51 GMT
Port chief plays down terror risk
South Hook LNG site
The LNG terminal has attracted protests from the local community
The chief of Milford Haven port has played down reports by a newspaper that its energy facilities are a serious target for al-Qaeda militants.

A report by the News of the World claimed the security services suspected al-Qaeda members had managed to infiltrate the plant.

However Milford Haven Port Authority chief executive Ted Sangster said he was unaware of any increased threat.

The Home Office said it could not comment on the story.

A liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal is currently being built at South Hook near Milford Haven along with a pipeline running through Wales to Gloucestershire, which will supply a fifth of the UK's energy needs once complete.

Model of LNG project at Milford Haven
The depot is currently being built at Milford Haven

Mr Sangster told BBC Radio Wales: "In common with all ports we have systems in place to enable us to respond to whatever requirements are indicated by the security services as to the assessed threat level.

"Plans under something called the international shipping and port facility security code are monitored and approved by the security department in the Department of Transport, Transec.

"They require us to have in place the capability of responding at various levels in terms of a variety of searching techniques, security areas, trained staff, CCTV, the control of shipping movements etc."

He added there had been an increase in security during the summer following the threat to attack aeroplanes which saw heightened measures at airports and ferry terminals across the country.

We have systems in place to enable us to respond to whatever requirements are indicated by the security services
Ted Sangster

The port recently took part in a security exercise in conjunction with the police and security services and other agencies across the region.

Mike Granett, the former head of the Cabinet Office's Civil Contingency Office, said the government was "constantly" aware of how vulnerable places like Milford Haven could be to attack.

"There is a branch of MI5 called the National Security Advisory Centre (NSAC) which provides specific advice to what's known as the critical national infrastructure," he said.

"That's industries including major energy industries and transport for example and power.

"It keeps them constantly advised on the terrorist threat and it gives them specific advice on what to do."

He added there was a "constant feed" of information through to the police, the Department of Transport, the Department of Trade and Industry and on through to the industries to "make sure they now what they should be doing".


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