LNG tanker near­ing Malta; yes­ter­day near Crete

Malta Independent - - NEWS -

The Ar­mada LNG Mediter­rana is fi­nally near­ing its ar­rival to Malta af­ter miss­ing nu­mer­ous dead­lines, ac­cord­ing to a ves­sel track­ing web­site. The LNG tanker yes­ter­day was shown to be off the coast of Crete.

The LNG tanker, which will be per­ma­nently berthed in Marsaxlokk har­bour, has al­ready missed three sep­a­rate dead­lines, the last of which was set for the end of this sum­mer. With au­tumn set­ting in it is still un­clear when the gas-pow­ered plant will be fully op­er­a­tional.

Elec­tro­gas project man­ager Catherine Halpin told this pa­per in Septem­ber that the De­li­mara plant would still have to go through the com­mis­sion­ing phase be­fore it starts gen­er­at­ing elec­tric­ity for Ene­malta. “All the other com­po­nents of the project are ready and within sched­ule. Once the FSU (float­ing stor­age unit) has been safely moored at its berth, it will be ready to ac­cept the first LNG cargo. Fol­low­ing this process the plant will be ready to com­mis­sion in its en­tirety and we shall be de­liv­er­ing power to the grid soon af­ter.”

“Once the FSU (float­ing stor­age unit) ar­rives in Malta there will be a num­ber of tests per­formed for fa­mil­iari­sa­tion and some safety drills while the ship is still empty. These are be­ing co­or­di­nated be­tween Elec­tro­Gas, Bu­miAr­mada and the Port Au­thor­i­ties. We can also con­firm that the jetty is ready to re­ceive the FSU to berth along­side safely,” Ms Halpin had said.

Orig­i­nally, the gas-fired power sta­tion was meant to be fully op­er­a­tional in March 2015 ac­cord­ing to PL’s pre-elec­toral pledge. Prime Min­is­ter Joseph Mus­cat had sub­se­quently in­sisted that the de­lay would only be of “a few months.” The next dead­line, set for the June 2016, was also missed.

Ac­cord­ing to Min­is­ter Kon­rad Mizzi, the De­li­mara power plant was meant to be fully op­er­a­tional by the end of Septem­ber. That third dead­line was once again missed due to the LNG Tanker’s de­par­ture be­ing de­layed from Sin­ga­pore, the rea­sons of which are still un­known. Dr Mizzi, along with the prime min­is­ter had at­tended a ‘sail away cer­e­mony’ for the ves­sel on 1 Au­gust, with the tanker only be­gin­ning its trip to­wards Malta on 12 Septem­ber.

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