Los Fresnos News

Liquified Natural Gas to Follow Strict Safety Guidelines

Erik Neandross explains the properties of liquid natural gas. Photo: Tony Vindell/LFN

by Tony Vindell/LFN

Handling liquified natural gas is a process that follows strict safety regulations and chances are a major spill is not going to happen.

Such was the message officials with Next Decade and company named Bechtel emphasized during last week meetings with reporters in Los Fresnos and Brownsville.

They said LNG is a safe, abundant and environmentally-friendly fuel that they have handling for more than 50 years and that only a couple of minor spills have occurred throughout that time.

Erik Neandross, an employee with Bechtel gave a presentation about how safe it is to handle LNG even though people have a misperception of the fuel.

He stood behind a table filled with test tubes, hour glasses and a thermos and began to explain LNG properties and combustion.

Neandross said LNG is a clear liquid, has no odor, it’s colorless, non- toxic, non-corrosive, has low pressure and it’s lighter than air.

“LNG is purely about transportation efficiency to move from one place to another,“ he said. “We have shipped LNG all over the world for decades and there hasn’t been a major release.”

He said LNG does not contaminate soil or water and, if a spill happens, it vaporizes leaving no residue.

Neandros said the fuel is natural gas in its liquid state.

“This is LNG 101,” he said earlier. “We realize there is a misperception about LNG being a bomb ready to explode, but that is not the case.”

Next Decade is planning to build a terminal to store LNG on a 984-acre tract of land owned by the Brownsville Navigation District.

The project calls for building several storage tanks.

Environmentalists claimed the project would be detrimental to the area, particularly around State Highway 48 and to South Padre Island, but Next Decade officials said the area will benefit in a number of aspects.

They said Next Decade would create thousands of jobs during the construction stages, will pump in money to widen the Brownsville Ship Channel and will create a wildlife refuge, among other things.