HL Deb 28 February 1980 vol 405 c1673WA

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they, or any local authority, have received applications for permission to establish off shore plants for the processing of North Sea natural gas liquids, whether such installations, if constructed onboard redundant supertankers, would count as installations or as vessels, and what would be the different considerations taken into account in the two cases.

The Earl of GOWRIE

Her Majesty's Government have received no application for permission to establish an off-shore plant for the processing of North Sea natural gas liquids (NGL). However, the Government are aware that several companies are examining the feasibility of such projects and through the Department of Energy's Off-shore Supplies Office is keeping in touch with technological developments in this area. The Department of Energy takes account of this type of scheme, among others, in its consideration of methods for the disposal of hydrocarbons from the United Kingdom Continental Shelf.

I understand that in 1979 the Orkney Island Council received an application for planning permission to establish NGL processing equipment on two redundant oil tankers which it was proposed to beach in shallow water a short distance from the shoreline at Flotta. In September 1979 the application was withdrawn by its sponsors, Liquid Gas Equipment Limited, who wished to reconsider their proposal. Whether a facility comprising NGL processing plant mounted on redundant oil tankers would be regarded as a vessel or as an off-shore installation would depend on the details of the particular proposal.