Marine life in Western Port is an important environmental asset that must be cared for and we recognise a major concern is about the potential marine impacts from the open loop regasification process – using seawater to warm the very cold LNG.
During the open loop process the ship’s system, like a filtration system in a salt water swimming pool, produces a small amount of chlorine, being approximately 0.1 of a milligram a litre at the release point, from the seawater to keep the system clean.
Early EES referral expert reports found that when the water returns to Western Port it will break down to an undetectable level within 20 seconds. In other words, the level of chlorine in the water that’s returned to the port would be significantly less than that allowed in our drinking water.
While these earlier reports show the chlorine breaks down very rapidly and the temperature differences quickly dissipate, we recognise this still concerns the community. The community have made their concerns known to the government and they have been successful in making sure they are now assessed independently through an environmental effect statement process. We hope the EES process being conducted by the government will carefully address the concern around chlorine.