LNG tanker nearing Malta; yesterday near Crete
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.