Page last updated at 10:54 GMT, Thursday, 19 March 2009

Timeline: LNG plants in Wales

2003

February

Pembrokeshire Council grants outline planning permission for an LNG storage depot at the Petroplus site at Waterston near Milford Haven - now known as Dragon LNG. The company said its plans were dependant on securing financial partners and an agreement to expand the UK gas distribution network to the county.

April

ExxonMobil announces plans for a separate LNG terminal at the former Esso refinery at South Hook near Milford. This subsequently becomes South Hook LNG.

November

The UK oil and gas producer, BG Group plc, formerly part of British Gas, signs up as a partner in the Dragon LNG project, ensuring it goes ahead.

2004

March

ExxonMobil, which has signed an agreement with Qatar Petroleum to supply gas from the Gulf to Britain, is granted planning permission for South Hook LNG despite growing objections from environmentalists. Preparatory work starts at the site and full blown construction is underway by the end of the year.

South Hook LNG under construction
At the height of construction 2,000 workers were employed at South Hook

AUGUST

British Gas owner Centrica announces it has signed a 15-year supply deal with Malaysian company Petronas to supply gas to the Dragon LNG site. The news is welcomed by the Welsh Assembly Government, Pembrokeshire council and Milford Haven Port Authority but Friends of the Earth Cymru warns shipping LNG to Wales was 20 to 30% less efficient compared to North Sea gas. It also raises safety fears and questions whether such terminals should be close to centres of population.

October

The Dragon LNG plant clears another hurdle when it is granted a hazardous substances licence. Objectors, who have formed the action group Safe Haven, petition councillors without success.

2005

February

Transco, which operates the UK gas pipe network, starts meeting with farmers and landowners to discuss compensation for disruption caused by the construction of an 85-mile-long high pressure gas pipe that will run from Milford Haven to Neath. The second phase of the pipe line will continue to Gloucestershire.

Gas pipeline under construction
The Transco gas pipeline was completed in under three years

July

Safe Haven is refused permission by the High Court in London to seek a judicial review into the planning consent granted to both terminals at Milford.

September

Hundreds of contractors have started arriving in Pembrokeshire to work on the LNG terminals. There are warnings of a serious shortage of accommodation for the workers and an increasing homelessness issue as rents and house prices rise.

October

Transco announces the second phase of the new gas pipeline will pass through the Brecon Beacons. The Brecon Beacons National Park Authority opposes the route which undergoes minor changes. The total length of the pipe crosses 16 roads, 40 rivers and streams, nine railway lines and uses 23,000 sections of pipe.

2006

May

Contractors working at the South Hook terminal down tools over what they say are on-site safety concerns. Throughout the construction process both sites are hit by sporadic walk-outs.

The Welsh Assembly Government is urged to "call in" the gas pipeline as work has already started on the first section. Contractors will face a series of protests and disruption over the next two years.

Protesters occupy section of pipeline
Protesters disrupted the pipeline construction during 2007 and 2008

August

Archaeologists working on the route the gas pipeline will take near Milford Haven unearth what they believe to be a 3,400-year-old canoe. The Bronze Age oak relic is recovered without delaying work.

November

Residents in Trebanos in the Swansea Valley claim victory as Transco is told it cannot use explosives to build the section of the pipeline running near the village. A few days later the first of a series of protests which see campaigners occupy the pipeline starts near the village.

December

The Milford Haven Port Authority plays down reports by a newspaper that the LNG terminals will become a serious target for al-Qaeda militants. Chief executive Ted Sangster said: "We have systems in place to enable us to respond to whatever requirements are indicated by the security services."


2007

June

Dozens of people opposed to the gas pipe crossing a historic woodland set up camp at Penpont near Brecon. Some chain themselves to trees and have to be removed by police.

July

Safe Haven loses a High Court battle for further information it is about risk assessments carried out by the Milford Haven Port Authority. Lawyers for residents of Milford Haven argued there were fears that an accident, or possibly terrorist activity, might lead to a major tragedy.

A maintenance barge collapses
A worker died when a maintenance barge collapsed

October

One worker dies and another seven have to be rescued as a maintenance barge working on the new jetty being built at South Hook collapses. The dead man is later named by police as 44-year-old Dutchman Adrianus Van Ham. The Health and Safety Executive investigates.

November

Three years after work first began and a cost of 1bn the pipeline that links Milford Haven to the UK gas network is completed. UK energy minister Malcolm Wicks marked the occasion by opening a valve into the final section of the line at Felindre, near Swansea.

2008

January

Two thousand workers are evacuated from the South Hook site following a hoax bomb threat. A court is later told the man responsible was a disgruntled worker. He is sentenced to a suspended 12 month prison term.

June

A senior Exxon Mobil executive tells an energy summit in Houston the company is on track to start up the South Hook LNG plant later in the year, but construction work continues into 2009.

July

Around 600 workers at the Dragon LNG plant are involved in a health and safety dispute following the death of a colleague from natural causes.

2009

January

Preparations for the arrival of the first LNG tanker to arrive at Milford Haven pick up pace. Emergency services outline how they would tackle any big incidents at the new gas terminals at the first safety briefing for the public. Meanwhile contractors working at the terminals down tools in support of oil refinery workers in Lincolnshire unhappy at the use of foreign contractors.

South Hook LNG terminal
The South Hook plant is due to welcome its first tanker in early 2009

February

BG Group announces its Dragon LNG import terminal will not be ready to take its first delivery until at least April. "We are in the final stages of completion and we are expecting it to be on stream in the second quarter of this year," a company spokesman said.

2009

March

Friday, 20 March: LNG carrier Tembek is due to arrive at South Hook, to start the commissioning of phase one of the terminal.



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