LNG producers keep eye on safety
Liquefied natural gas is natural gas that has been cooled down to about minus 260 degrees, which turns it from a vapor into a liquid, making it easy to transport on ships or trucks.
Today, with the U.S.’ bounty of natural gas, estimated to be enough to last for more than 100 years, LNG export facilities, known as terminals, are being built to export this fuel around the globe.
Also, exporting natural gas has become economically attractive.
With the drive to export LNG, many companies are ramping up. And as always, safety of staff as well as the environment are crucial.
Freeport LNG is constructing an expansion of its terminal to enable liquefaction and export of approximately 2 billion cubic feet per day of natural gas in the form of LNG.
Even though LNG has been around for decades, it remains somewhat new to many outside of the energy industry, and some still have questions.
“We work hard to raise community awareness, and invite the public for tours, demonstrations and education. The first thing we want people to know is LNG is safe,” said Mike Quilty, manager, Health, Safety, Security and Environment (HSSE), Freeport LNG.
Freeport LNG is on Quintana, an island located between the mouth of the Old Brazos and New Brazos rivers. Quintana is a noncommercialized, natural beach and home to wildlife and a bird sanctuary, all of which is not affected by the construction of the terminal.
We keep safety in the forefront of everyone’s minds by hosting safety meetings every morning, local safety meetings, executive safety meetings, and maintenance safety meetings weekly. Plus, before construction began, the safety plan was submitted by the contractors, which we approved. There is oversight of the construction companies to ensure the safety plans are being followed,” said Don Godwin, NES Global, construction safety manager, Freeport LNG.
While the export terminal is under construction, Freeport LNG is required to follow the Federal Energy Regulations on safety.
Presently, there are 300-360 workers on the site that attend daily safety meetings.
“As the work moves along, we will top out at around 4,000 workers, that we have not hired yet. After being hired, each person will be required to attend a safety orientation and safety training. They will also be required to attend a safety training specific to their craft,” Godwin said.