PLYMOUTH, Wash. – An explosion that injured five people Monday at a liquefied natural gas facility in Plymouth, Wash. has fueled concerns about a proposed LNG terminal in Oregon.
A company called Oregon LNG is awaiting federal approval to build a natural gas plant in Warrenton, at the mouth of the Columbia River.
The plant would store and ship up to 9.6 million tons of liquefied natural gas per year. It would be six times bigger than the one in Plymouth, according to the group Columbia Riverkeeper.
The organization is strongly against the plan, saying it's not safe for the people of Warrenton or nearby Astoria. LNG plants should be built in very remote areas, said Columbia Riverkeeper spokesman Dan Serres.
He said an explosion like the one in Plymouth would be a nightmare for a community like Warrenton.
“Putting this type of facility close to where people shop, where they work, where they fish, where they live—people live very close to these proposals--it's unsafe,” he said. “We are encouraging the state to reject these out of hand.”
Oregon LNG says it's committed to safety, efficiency and the responsible exportation of natural gas. The company reports on its website it has not had a major shipping incident in the 50-plus years it has been around. The company did not return phone calls from KGW.