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Wales: D-day for gas plant scheme; Go-ahead 'would bring island 60 jobs'.

Byline: By ERYL CRUMP

COUNCILLORS are today poised to decide on ambitious plans to create a gas processing plant which could create 60 jobs in an unemployment blackspot.

US energy firm Canatxx LNG Ltd wants to build a liquid natural gas processing plant on the former Great Lakes site in Amlwch.

A mooring platform, two miles offshore, will allow tankers up to 380 yards long and carrying up to 55million gallons of gas from the Middle East to dock.

The Texas-based firm submitted an application toAngleseyCouncil last year.

If it is approved, gas could be pumped from the site and into the national grid system by 2011.

The council's planning committee, which meets today is being recommended to approve the application with strict conditions.

As part of the conditions, Canatxx will be required toset aside sums of money to fund sports and community-based requirements.

The firm, which predicts around 60 jobs will be created, must also provide details of schemes to mitigate the visual impact of the project on the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Head of planning service Jim Woodcock said: "The application site comprises previously developed land which was used for oil storage tanks.

"Oil was formerly pumped from tanker ships into the site between 1974 and 1986 and there remains an Admiralty exclusion zone for other sea vessels in the area.

"The site was subsequently used for the production of bromine from seawater by the Great Lakes Chemical Corp and this plant closed in 2003."

Mr Woodcock acknowledges the offshore platform will "have a significant adverse impact" onthe Area ofOutstanding Natural Beauty.

"It is the local planning authority's opinion that mitigation measures may be possible but will require further assessment," he added.

Objectors have raised their concerns about the scheme's environmental hazards.

A Friends of the Earth Cymru spokesman pointed out there were much more efficient methods of burning gas for power which would reduce emissions of greenhouse gases and create more jobs.

The Campaign for the Protection of Rural Wales (CPRW) says there is no need for a shore-based terminal at Amlwch.

Meanwhile, a former policeman has raised his concerns the site could be a terrorist target.

Retired Metropolitan Police commander Dai Davies,whowas responsible for protecting Royalty, warned an attack on the Canatxx site could potentially cause "significant loss of life".

Mr Woodcock said consultants tasked to consider terrorismand security issues have concluded there is a "lowlikelihood of attack".

"Accident and security risks could be mitigated by increasing surveillance by Anglesey Council andNorthWales Police with CCTV coverage on the approaches and the perimeter of the application site," he said.

erylcrump@dailypost.co.uk

CAPTION(S):

The former OCTEL site now owned by Canatxx Picture: GERALLT RADCLIFFE
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Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Dec 5, 2007
Words:451
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