PSE to discuss LNG plans at Nov. 21 convention center event

Puget Sound Energy has set Nov. 21 for an open house at the Greater Tacoma Convention and Trade Center to discuss its liquefied natural gas plant project.

The project, which won a key approval Monday from the state Utilities and Transportation Commission, is a $310 million proposal to turn a 30-acre site at the Port of Tacoma into a facility capable of converting piped-in natural gas into 250,000 gallons of LNG daily.

The LNG will be sold to a shipping company and possibly other buyers, and 8 million gallons of it will be stored on-site. Construction has not started on the plant, but it is scheduled to open in 2019.

Tacoma Mayor Marilyn Strickland in October urged PSE to be more open about the controversial project.

PSE spokesman H. Grant Ringel said the public event will feature a series of stations explaining aspects of the facility, attended by the utility company’s project experts.

“As best we can,” he said, “we’re going to have the people who actually get the work done there, to be able to go into as much detail as anyone wants to, face-to-face.”

He declined to estimate the potential attendance.

The LNG project has attracted outspoken public criticism from RedLine Tacoma, an anti-fossil fuels activist group organized to combat a previous project that would have built the world’s largest methanol plant at the port.

RedLine members have for months publicly questioned the LNG project’s safety in a populated area and its environmental effects.

Earlier this year, RedLine members packed two meetings at the convention center to debate a proposed methanol plant on the Tacoma Tideflats.

At the first one, city officials drew criticism for booking a room too small to contain the hundreds of interested speakers on the project, pro and con. The second drew an audience of 1,000, and almost all the speakers lambasted the methanol plant’s environmental consequences for Tacoma and the Earth for hours. The project later was withdrawn.

Unlike those meetings, which were held to provide input for the city’s environmental study of the methanol plant, the LNG meeting Nov. 21 is strictly for informational purposes. The environmental study for the LNG plant was completed in 2015.

Derrick Nunnally: 253-597-8693, @dcnunnally

If you go

The Puget Sound Energy open house concerning its proposed liquefied natural gas plant project will be from 7-8:30 p.m. Nov. 21. at Greater Tacoma Convention and Trade Center, 1516 Commerce St.