The first LNG tanker to arrive in the UK enters Milford Haven
The first giant tanker carrying super-cooled gas from the Middle East to one of two new terminals in Pembrokeshire has arrived in port.
Once fully operational, the liquefied natural gas plants at Milford Haven will be capable of meeting up to 25% of the UK's current gas requirements.
The Tembek began its berthing process at the South Hook terminal at 1500 GMT and finally docked three hours later.
Protesters who have fought the £13bn projects have been at the site all day.
Milford Haven Port Authority said it could handle LNG shipping safely.
The tanker, which has sailed from Qatar, had been moored off Pembrokeshire waiting for the tide to allow it to berth at the newly built South Hook deep water terminal.
It is the largest LNG plant in Europe and is a joint venture between Qatar Petroleum, ExxonMobil and Total.
Faisal Al-Suwaidi, chairman of Qatargas, said the arrival of the first cargo at South Hook was "a significant milestone" in the project.
The giant tanker is carrying LNG, a natural gas which has been converted to a liquid by cooling it to a temperature of -160°C
UK Energy Secretary Ed Miliband said: "The arrival of the first shipment of gas from Qatar to Milford Haven's new import terminal at South Hook opens up yet another source of gas to UK homes and businesses, and will help boost our energy security, as North Sea supplies decline."
Meanwhile, Ted Sangster, Chief Executive of Milford Haven Port Authority, said the port's ability to handle LNG would help them in their aim to become the "most highly regarded port in the country".
"LNG's arrival also means the eyes of the world will be upon us, helping to attract the interest of other commercial operators which which will present us with further opportunities to create additional revenue," he said.
LNG is natural gas which has been converted to a liquid by cooling it to a temperature of -160°C.
In its liquid form, it occupies much less space than gas, making it easier and more cost-effective to transport.
It will be turned back into gas at the terminals and pumped into the UK network along a specially constructed pipeline running from Milford to Gloucestershire.
South Hook is the larger of two terminals built at the port.
The other, Dragon LNG, a partnership between Malaysia's state oil firm Petronas, BG and the Netherland's 4Gas, is expected to become operational later in the year.
The companies say LNG imports will increase the UK's security and diversity of gas supply while helping to ensure that natural gas remains a competitive source of energy.
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