The arrival of the first of the specially built tankers transporting LNG from Qatar to Britain arrived in Milford Haven today. It was a very important day in the history of Wales, and a significant milestone in Wales' ongoing contribution to the energy needs of the UK. I have a special interest because a few years ago, the company which has built the South Hook gas storage complex arranged a day long information visit for me when I was an Assembly Member for Mid and West Wales. I was amazed by the massive scale of the whole operation - new tankers, two new terminals, new docking facilities, massive storage tanks, and a 4' diameter pipeline all the way to England. I don't think many people living outside of West Wales appreciate just how big a project it has been. And today, the gas started flowing in.
The tanker that came in today is 315 metres long, and 50 metres wide. And its not the biggest!! Think about this for a minute. There were going to be 14 of them I think, and they are bigger than any other tanker ever built. I've watched this film clip three times already, keeping the dimensions in my mind. Its truly astounding.
There were always some objectors. There always are - and they were my constituents. But I never had the slightest doubt that the project was right for Milford Haven, right for Wales and right for Britain. In my opinion, liquefied natural gas is a whole lot safer than nuclear power - and there is no option but to move forward as quickly as is reasonably possible down that road as well.