Maharashtra آ“riskآ” study of LNG at Trombay

Vol 4, PW 7 (10 May 00) Midstream & Downstream

The state-run Maharashtra Pollution Control Board has ordered a "risk and hazard assessment" of the proposed 6m tonnes a year (t/y) LNG import terminal at Trombay near Mumbai.

Maharashtra's move against the project - promoted by a consortium of TotalFina, Tata Group and Gas Authority of India - follows objections from the Mumbai-based legal advocacy, Sankalika. State environment officials tell Petrowatch that a letter was issued on March 30th to the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB), asking it to carry out a detailed study on the risk factors associated with the LNG terminal.

"We want an expert opinion on the risk and hazard assessment and all other safety aspects of the project," said an official, "Particularly since it is coming up in the vicinity of two refineries and other industrial establishments." He adds: " There are a total of 11 factories near the proposed terminal which deal in hazardous and toxic chemicals. If there is an accident from the LNG terminal millions of people in Mumbai will be at risk." Dr P.

K. Ghosh of the AERB has been assigned the task of carrying out the risk assessment.

Critics argue that the Tatas "should not be surprised" at this latest action against the project. In 1997, the Tatas went to court against Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) storage and handling terminal set up by Aegis Chemicals near the proposed LNG terminal.

The Tatas argued that the LPG terminal was a danger to their power plant and to other chemical factories in the area. However, the Bombay high court threw out the case.

The Tatas have filed a special leave petition in the Supreme Court against the Bombay high court order.