Crickhowell Slams Port Authority For Serious Breaches

Date:

20/01/2006

Author:

Steve Adams

Source:

BBC 4 Today

Matter:

LNG Milford Haven

THE Milford Haven Port Authority has been directly criticised by the former Secretary of State for Wales over the handling of the LNG terminals around the town.

Speaking on BBC Radio Four's Today programme this morning, Lord Crickhowell said the authority had failed in its fundamental duty both to the people of Pembrokeshire and the UK Government.

"There is a very severe breach of its primary responsibility which is to ensure the safety of the port, people and the safety of the whole government energy strategy.

"If there was a serious explosion in Milford Haven, [the government's energy strategy] would be fundamentally breached."

The peer, formerly Conservative MP for Pembrokeshire Nicholas Edwards, said the Port Authority, which today finds itself in the Court of Appeal fighting an application from campaign group Safe Haven to halt the construction of the terminals, had not been open in its claims over the safety of the terminals due to its failure to fully assess the risks.

"The Port Authority cannot be open," said Lord Crickhowell, "because it has not carried out, what I would regard, as a comprehensive risk assessment.

"It has relied on a number of partial risk assessments."

Lord Crickhowell also dismissed a report from Lloyds Risk Register, quoted by Port Authority Chief Executive Ted Sangster, which itself states the need for further research into LNG shipping.

"In other words, it has not addressed the matters that concern us at all. Therefore it can be disregarded."

Most surprising, Mr Sangster, for the first time, seemingly acknowledged that the Port Authority had not carried the risk assessments Safe Haven has long been demanding.

Mr Sangster told the BBC that the authority would now carry out a full risk assessment but the results of that report would not be available until next year and even then, would not be made public.

For further details of Mr Sangster's comments regarding the risk assessment documents, check out pembrokeshiretv.com throughout the morning after Mr Sangter's media relations team has been given the opportunity to clarify his admission.