The Trinidad LNG facility is the first to operate in the Atlantic basin and only the second in the Western hemisphere.
Atlantic LNG emergency response coordinator Benedict McLean of Trinidad said he would rather work in a liquefied natural gas facility than a gasoline refinery. He brought a team of his emergency responders to the first class at BP's new LNG training project at Texas A&M's Emergency Services Training Institute in October.
"There are easy ways to deal with LNG," McLean said. Bringing an experienced hand to the LNG school were McLean, Patrick Greenidge, Pierre Culzac, Johnathan Holder, David Samuel and Michael Scipio, all members of the Atlantic LNG Emergency Response Team (ERT).
The Trinidad LNG facility is the first to operate in the Atlantic basin and only the second in the Western hemisphere. With three LNG trains operational and a fourth under construction, Atlantic LNG produces nine million tons of LNG annually for export to the U.S. and Spain.
"The fourth train will be approximately one and a half times bigger than the other three," McLean said.
In the past, the Atlantic LNG emergency response team has traveled to Boston to practice actual LNG spills at the Massachusetts Fire Academy. The team played an important part in the inaugural LNG training class in Texas because BP is a partner in the Atlantic LNG venture.
McLean's team of emergency response technicians handle both emergency response and security. Equipment includes a pumper with dry chemical and foam, a smaller water truck, a 1,000 pound skid unit and a foam trailer which also carries high expansion foam.
"We are the only company on the island that utilizes high expansion foam," McLean said. "And high expansion foam is one of the key ingredients to handling any LNG issues."
Approximately 190 deliveries of LNG cargo leave Atlantic LNG annually. Scipio serves as the team's marine coordinator.
As for the facility itself, the storage tanks are built inside a concrete containment wall lined with steel. Between the concrete and steel is insulation. All entry to the tanks is from the top, said McLean.
"We have four pumps in each tank," McLean said. "If a leak occurs we would immediately bring in the truck with the high expansion foam."
Trinidad's ongoing experience with LNG belies the bad rap it gets in many U.S. communities. Atlantic LNG has been operating safely on the island since 1997.
"There are many wrong myths about LNG," said McLean. "At Atlantic LNG we are trained to get out the true facts about LNG."