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    FERC Solicits Fast Track Study Applicable Nationwide To Evaluate Flammable Vapor & Thermal Radiation Hazards Of Unconfined LNG Spills on Water From An LNG Cargo Release

    (February 1, 2004) -- The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has requested proposals for a fast tracked study applicable nationwide to "evaluate the flammable vapor and thermal radiation hazards created by unconfined LNG spills on water resulting from an LNG cargo release."

    The solicitation, quietly posted on a federal government business opportunities web site on Jan. 20, 2004, was reported by the Mobile, Alabama Register on January 31.

    We post salient portions of FERC's solicitation below.

    [The posted web text includes unexplained question marks, which we presume are computer coding errors but have reproduced for the record.]

    In its stated objectives, FERC says:

    Since 1952, LNG has been transported by ship without a major release of cargo or a major accident involving an LNG ship. Recently, there has been an emergence of studies attempting to analyze the possibility of an LNG spill from a ship and to define the ?worst case? scenario that would result from a deliberate, terrorist attack on an LNG vessel. The FERC is seeking a highly qualified contractor to perform the services described in Section II and submit to the FERC staff a detailed study identifying specific model(s)/method(s) that can be used to calculate flammable vapor and thermal radiation hazards resulting from potential LNG vessel cargo releases during transit and while at berth. The selected model(s)/method(s) must allow the analysis of these hazards at various sites. The contractor shall prepare and submit to the FERC a detailed report recommending a model(s) and documenting the results of the analysis, as well as an assessment of computational theory and modeling methodology. The detailed study shall include the rationale used in recommending the selected model(s).

    The solication's scope of work states in pertinent part:

    The contractor shall evaluate the flammable vapor and thermal radiation hazards created by unconfined LNG spills on water resulting from an LNG cargo release. The study shall review international LNG experience (including Europe and Pacific Rim countries) with respect to experimental data on LNG spills, modeling methodology and hazard management. The study is to be composed of a literature search, model evaluation, parameter analysis, and development of a model(s). The tasks to be performed include:An evaluation of published models to calculate the rate of cargo release and the spread of unconfined LNG spills on water;?A determination of the effect of cargo tank hole diameter on cargo release and pool spread (including establishment of an upper limit);?An evaluation of these models to calculate the rate of vapor generation for unconfined LNG spills on water;An evaluation of the models to calculate thermal radiation distances from unconfined LNG spills on water; An evaluation of the models to calculate the distance traveled by flammable vapors from unconfined LNG spills on water; An evaluation of the theoretical basis for current models used to calculate each of the above, and a review of the applicability of existing computer modeling to field test data; A review of the effects of thermal radiation levels on population and structures; A recommendation, including the selection rationale, of specific methods and a model which FERC staff may use to calculate the flammable vapor and thermal radiation hazards associated with marine transportation of LNG; and A comprehensive review of design, operational, safety, and security features and possible mitigating measures that an LNG facility and/or vessel operator employs or could provide to minimize impacts from: accidents; attacks; leaks; spills; fire; rapid phase transitions; or the spread of negatively buoyant, flammable vapor clouds.

    As for what it wants delivered, and when, FERC says:

    Based upon the analyses, the contractor shall submit a comprehensive report to the FERC staff detailing the items [scope of work above] and setting forth technical evaluations, recommendations, and conclusions regarding the modeling of impacts from flammable vapors and thermal radiation. All requested topics shall be discussed in the report, which shall be considered confidential until released by the FERC. The contractor shall also complete and provide to the FERC staff an electronic copy of the report in Microsoft Word 2002 format. Deliverables shall include a contract kick-off meeting, a draft report, a briefing of FERC staff on the draft report, and a final report. Throughout the study period, the contractor shall provide immediate notification to FERC staff of significant findings and important revelations. The contractor will also be responsible for conducting weekly briefings with the FERC staff regarding the progress of the analysis. Finally, the contractor will be available as an expert witness on behalf of the staff of the FERC in any hearings or meetings on applications...The contractor shall submit a schedule of deliverables including intermediate milestone dates. The draft report shall be submitted to the FERC staff no later than March 15, 2004. The report will be finalized with responses to FERC staff comments by March 31, 2004. All offerors and subcontractors will complete and submit with their proposals, either the Organizational Conflicts of Interest (OCI) representation or the OCI disclosure (not both).

    A Mitsubishi subsidiary, Sound Energy Solutions (SES), which has proposed building an LNG facility in the Port of LB, has posted on its web site statements regarding release, fire, accidents, earthquake, terrorist attack and safety. These can be viewed at SES Frequently Asked Questions.

    Additional coverage:

  • Councilwoman Lowenthal, Harbor Commissioner Cordero & LB Port Exec. Dir. Steinke Discuss LNG Proposal on City Hall TV Show

  • Councilwoman Lowenthal's TV Show Statement re Boston Area LNG Facility Compared To MA Congressman Web Site

  • Dem. Presidential Candidate Sen. Kerry Supports Improving LNG Transportation Systems, Incl. Development Of New Technologies Such as Offshore Regassification

  • Exclusive: Will Assemblyman Lowenthal Urge Gov. Schwarzenegger To Ask FERC To Do Independent, Individualized Site-Specific Safety Study Re LNG Facility Proposed In Port of LB? We Post Assemblyman Lowenthal's Answer

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