Pilots Concerned about LNG Terminal Development in Port Klang

Boustead Cruise Terminal
Boustead Cruise Terminal

Published Sep 12, 2019 7:51 PM by The Maritime Executive

Maritime Pilots Malaysia has raised concern about the possible violation of public and port safety with the planned construction and operation of an LNG terminal at Pulau Indah, Port Klang.

According to the President and Chairman of Maritime Pilots Malaysia, Captain Martin Lim, the pilots are not against with the Government’s efforts to draw foreign investment into the country as demonstrated by the development of a new LNG terminal and storage facility at Port Klang. However, he says the location of the terminal and storage facilities isn’t suitable for the potential dangers posed by LNG. Instead, the terminal should be located in a well defined and safe location that does not cause a potential hazard to public and environmental safety, including the safety of navigation and pilotage in the area. 

The terminal and LNG and LPG storage facility projects are being developed in collaboration with Singapore’s Global Petro Storage Group and Norway’s Equinor. They aim to meet local demand as well as creating a distribution hub for other countries in the region, including Myanmar and Bangladesh. The seven-hectare LPG storage facility is expected have capacity for 134,000 cubic meters of gas, and the six-hectare LNG storage facility is expected to have between 160,000 and 200,000 cubic meters of LNG. It is expected to be completed in 2022.

Lim notes that LNG has a boiling point temperature of about -162 degree Celsius, which means when, expose to the atmosphere it will swiftly transform into flammable and combustible vapor. It has higher relative density, thus heavier than air and will remain near the ground. With an expansion ratio of 1:600, each drop of LNG will expand 600 times in vapor form at atmospheric pressure.

Apparently, the newly planned LNG terminal will be located along the Klang Straits, in close proximity and adjacent to the Boustead Cruise Terminal, an important terminal in Malaysia that handles large international cruise ships with a capacity of both crew and passengers exceeding 8,000 at any one time. Annually, Boustead Cruise Terminal handles more than 500,000 passengers as well as 10,000 or more crew from international warships that dock at the terminal. 

Lim says that any potential development at Port Klang should not violate the public safety of these and other existing port users. He has urged the port authority and the Ministry of Transport Malaysia to review the plans for the LNG terminal and choose an alternative location.