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EPA approves BOC Ltd plant

17 June 2009
A proposal to build a liquid natural gas (LNG) plant near Westbury has gained environmental approval from Tasmania's Environment Protection Authority (EPA). EPA chairman John Ramsay said the proponent, BOC Ltd, had shown the facility can be built and managed in an environmentally acceptable manner. BOC has lodged a permit application with the Meander Valley Council to construct the LNG facility. Mr Ramsay said the plant will use natural gas sourced from the Tasmanian Gas Pipeline at an industrial site, approximately 1.5 km north of Westbury and will produce up to 50 tonnes of LNG per day. "The process involves purification of natural gas, drying of the purified gas to remove water, and refrigeration of the dried and purified gas to produce LNG. "The LNG will be stored in two vacuum insulated tanks on site. A ground flare will be used to burn waste gases and a cooling tower will also be required." "Modelling of the potential impact of noise and atmospheric emissions shows these issues are able to be managed satisfactorily through commitments and proposed permit conditions," Mr Ramsay said. The EPA board also noted the LNG will be used by the transport industry and will provide a more environmentally-friendly alternative to diesel. No representations were received during the public consultation period. Mr Ramsay said the EPA's Environmental Assessment Report had drawn on expertise from specialist officers supporting the EPA as well as consultation with other agencies and authorities. The EPA board's environmental assessment, including the conditions that it requires to be attached to any permit issued, has been forwarded to the Meander Valley Council. The council will complete the assessment of planning considerations and decide whether to issue a permit.