€400m plant 'an accident waiting to happen'
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Limerick Leader Published Date:
24 November 2007
natural gas (LNG), which the company plans to ship into a new terminal
yet to be built at the Shannon Development owned landbank just outside
the Limerick border at Ballylongford, "is an incredibly explosive,
condensed form of gas," she claimed this week.
"The gas is so
flammable that even a small leak can do a great deal of damage and a
serious accident or terrorist attack would result in a nuclear-sized
explosion minus the radiation," she warned.
for the terminal was fast-tracked under the new Planning and
Development (Strategic Infrastructure) Act 2006, meaning it went
straight to An Bord Pleanala and the seven-week public consultation
process, during which people could make submissions and/ or objections
ended last Friday. A decision is expected in March or April.
The company say that 350 people would be employed during construction and 50 permanent jobs would be provided at the site.
carrying LNG are included in the list of terrorist targets in the US,
she added. And she also claimed that in EU terms, a LNG terminal would
be rated as a "Seveso 11 site", a designation which she warned would
have negative repercussions for the surrounding area.
Seveso II project is given the go- ahead it can be very hard to get
planning permission for any more houses or other industries as the
designation tends to sterilise an area," she claimed. Seveso, she said,
refers to an area 25 km north of Milan in Italy where an industrial
accident resulted in major destruction and loss of life.
Sinnott's claims have been strenuously rebutted by a spokesman for
Shannon LNG who last year announced their plans to built a liquefied
natural gas terminal on a 260-acre site in Ballylongford which would be
linked by a 25-30kilometre pipeline into the national grid beyond
"Shannon LNG has no doubts whatsoever about the safety
of the proposed LNG import terminal," company spokesman Emmet Barrett
said this Wednesday. "LNG importation technology is straightforward and
has proven safe and reliable for over 40 years. There are over 50
import terminals operating worldwide, and to improve security and
diversity of energy supply, a number of new import terminals are
currently being built in Europe, the UK and North America."
Barrett told the Limerick Leader that as part of the planning process,
the company had carried out a "detailed quantitative risk assessment"
which they submitted to the Health and Safety Authority (HSA). "This
assessment has demonstrated that all existing dwellings are outside any
area of HSA.
- By Norma Prendiville