Risk of explosion slim for LNG projects: EAO documents

Environmental documents for Kitimat's two major LNG proposals point to the very low likelihood of explosions.

Following a major explosion in a port community in China yesterday, the proponents behind Kitimat’s two major LNG projects — Kitimat LNG and LNG Canada — point to their comprehensive safety planning for their proposed Kitimat facilities.

As well, the chances of a similar type of catastrophic explosion in Kitimat is very slim, according to environmental assessment documents relating to the two projects.

The explosion in China in the town of Tianjin on August 12 is believed to be an industrial accident. It’s unclear the type of explosives which ignited to create the explosion, and it should be noted no reports have suggested it is natural gas.

Fire and explosion is an area that is addressed in LNG Canada and Kitimat LNG’s environmental assessment reports.

Within the environment assessment report for LNG Canada, the document the government prepared as it issued the company their environmental assessment certificate, it’s said that “the credible worst-case scenario for a fire or explosion is the uncontrolled released…of gas phase materials that are stored or used within high pressure systems.”

That is referring to gas feed systems, refrigerant loop systems and propane.

The report notes that a fire could result from an LNG vapour cloud, but such a scenario is actually unlikely “because LNG is stored and pumped under low pressure.”

The report also notes that “the direct effects of both scenarios would likely be contained within the LNG facility.”

Natural gas, while flammable, is actually interestingly difficult to ignite in many circumstances. It requires between five and 15 per cent proportion of air to ignite. Too little oxygen and a flame can’t ignite, or too much and it basically gets too saturated to ignite.

The environmental assessment report for Chevron’s Kitimat LNG project addresses that fact too, and also notes that natural gas in liquid form “cannot explode or burn.”

If there is a release the natural gas may be seen as a white cloud before being dispersed by wind, says the report.

LNG Canada’s spokesperson points to their efforts on developing safety.

“Over the past few years, LNG Canada has spent considerable time in the community to better understand concerns and identify opportunities related to the LNG Canada project,” said Director of External Affairs Susannah Pierce in a media statement. “What we heard, more clearly than anything else, is how important safety is to the community. One of our core values, and a commitment we have made to the community, is to protect our neighbours, employees and contractors, and we will consider their safety in every decision we make. LNG facilities and carriers have a proven safety record.”

She said the company continues to work with local authorities and governments to develop response plans for any emergency.



Just Posted

Kitimat’s Water Quality Advisory, which has been in place for just over a week, has been lifted. (Black Press file photo)
Water Quality Advisory in Kitimat lifted

The district has been under a Water Quality Advisory since June 2

On June 16 at 6 p.m., the Kitimat Chamber of Commerce will be hosting a public presentation and discussion with Happipad, a social enterprise, to talk about solutions for affordable housing Kitimat. (Happipad photo)
Affordable housing to be focus of Kitimat Chamber of Commerce meeting

Figures indicate the average Kitimat household needs to make more than $92,000 a year

(District of Kitimat logo)
Hirsch Creek Bridge restricted to single lane traffic

The district is restricting the bridge traffic to legal highway loads only

Artist’s illustration of the proposed Kitimat LNG facility at Bish Cove near Kitimat. (Kitimat LNG illustration)
Haisla Nation surprised by Woodside pull out from Kitimat LNG project

Haisla Nation council states its main focus is now on developing the Haisla-led Cedar LNG project

(Northern Health logo)
Pop-up vaccine clinic tomorrow at the Save-on-Foods parking lot in Kitimat

The clinic will be this Friday, June 11 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Premier John Horgan speaks as provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, right, and health minister Adrian Dix look on during a press conference to update on the province’s fall pandemic preparedness plan during a press conference from the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials to provide details on Step 2 of COVID reopening plan Monday

Step 2 could allow for larger gatherings and a resumption of recreational travel

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Most Read