Hawaii Gas' first shipment of liquefied natural gas, or LNG, has arrived. While the contents of the 10,000 gallon tank meet approximately 1/8th of the daily output, the implications are far greater.
"This is just a stepping stone for what we hope to be a larger activity as we move forward" said Kevin Nishimura, Director of Strategic Initiatives for Hawaii Gas.
"To do any more than this we need to go back and seek commission approval, which we'll do I hope during 2014…about how we might scale this project up, and then start to have a significant impact on the cost of energy in Hawaii" added Joe Boivin, Senior Vice President of Business Development and Corporate Affairs for Hawaii Gas.
There have been concerns that terrorists may weaponize the gas. The Institute for the Analysis of Global Security has produced a lengthy report about the transport and storage of LNG.
"There is a very robust set of policies, procedures and regulations that anyone shipping LNG has to be in compliance with" said Boivin of the security policies.
Hawaii Gas' facility is within a secure area. It has multiple high fences, security personnel in the area as well as a 24-hour security guard stationed just feet from the tank. There are also video monitoring cameras as well.
"The industry is fairly mature, that is, been operating for over 40 years and shipping LNG by container vessel. It's a very safe industry, has an impeccable track record" Boivin said.
The turnaround time for each tank is approximately three to four weeks.