Stinky but safe: no gas leak occurred, says utility

Stinky but safe: no gas leak occurred, says utility Yesterday afternoon's smell of rotten eggs around Whitehorse's new liquefied natural gas plant was not from leaked gas, Yukon Energy says.

Yesterday afternoon’s smell of rotten eggs around Whitehorse’s new liquefied natural gas plant was not from leaked gas, Yukon Energy says.

All it took was “literally one drop” of a chemical used in the process to cause the stink.

“As you know, we are in the process of getting our Whitehorse natural gas plant ready for operation,” spokesperson Janet Patterson wrote in an email yesterday.

“Today, we had a minor incident on the site that involved a small spill (literally one drop) of a liquid odorant known as methyl mercaptan. This spill resulted in a strong smell of rotten eggs being noticed around the site.”

Gases like propane and natural gas are odourless. The chemical is added so that you can smell a gas leak.

“It appears a tiny amount of the mercaptan was accidentally spilled while it was being added to the odorizing system,” Patterson said.

The site was temporarily evacuated and the fire department was called.

“It’s important that you understand this was not an LNG leak, and there were no injuries or environmental impacts as a result of this incident,” Patterson said.

Yukon Energy’s nearly $43-million project will replace aging diesel back-up generators with ones that burn natural gas.

The first truck of LNG arrived at the site last week. Everything is expected to be up and running by the end of June.

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