Peo­ple need to know what LNG tanker risks are - Si­mon Busut­til

Malta Independent - - NEWS - Ju­lian Bon­nici

“Any risk-as­sess­ment re­ports and stud­ies on the LNG Tanker need to be pub­lic.” This was PN leader Si­mon Busut­til’s call dur­ing a po­lit­i­cal event at a PN club in Luqa. The tanker, which is cur­rently en­ter­ing Mal­tese wa­ters, will be an­chored in Marsaxlokk Bay and, ac­cord­ing to Dr Busu­till, this is a “mon­u­ment to the cor­rup­tion, lies and deceit” of the cur­rent ad­min­is­tra­tion.

The pub­li­ca­tion of any report is nec­es­sary be­cause the big­gest prob­lem the project faces is the sub­stan­tial risk to the Mal­tese pop­u­la­tion, in par­tic­u­lar to the res­i­dents of Marsaxlokk and Birgu. He stressed that the risks of an­chor­ing the LNG tanker, no mat­ter how big or small, could cause in­cal­cu­la­ble con­se­quences.

Dr Busut­til said that any per­son could as­sess the risks with­out a study or report, and that by ig­nor­ing the risks, both the Prime Min­is­ter and No Port­fo­lio Min­is­ter Kon­rad Mizzi, are be­hav­ing “ir­re­spon­si­bly.” Busut­til went on to say that the pop­u­la­tion could never trust Mizzi, a man who “lied about a se­cret com­pany he owned in Panama,” to en­sure that the tanker is safe. He made it clear that if “they are aware of the risks and con­tinue to be stub­born, he and the Mal­tese peo­ple will hold them re­spon­si­ble.”

The Leader of the Op­po­si­tion also called for everyone to ex­am­ine the cur­rent sit­u­a­tion be­fore the gas-pow­ered sta­tion be­gins op­er­at­ing. He spoke of the BWSC power sta­tion in De­li­mara, a PN project which opened in 2012, and which im­me­di­ately be­gan to save money and that was able to pro­vide a more ef­fi­cient ser­vice and re­duce pol­lu­tion by 20%.

Busut­til also spoke of the in­ter­con­nec­tor, which also be­gan un­der the PN ad­min­is­tra­tion, and which was com­pleted last year. He made ref­er­ence to sta­tis­tics pro­vided by the NSO show­ing that since its in­tro­duc­tion, air pol­lu­tion has been re­duced by al­most 60%.

In­ter­na­tional oil prices have also fallen by two-thirds since the pre­vi­ous gov­ern­ment, the Op­po­si­tion leader said. Con­sid­er­ing this – along with the in­ter­con­nec­tor and BWSC power sta­tion – one can only come to the con­clu­sion that the cur­rent re­duc­tion in price should be much greater, and that any drop is at­trib­uted to the work the Na­tion­al­ist party had done, he said.

This, he said, raises ques­tions as to why the gov­ern­ment would com­mit it­self to pur­chas­ing elec­tric­ity from Elec­tro­gas for a pe­riod of 18 years at a higher price than elec­tric­ity gen­er­ated by the in­ter­con­nec­tor. The price of elec­tric­ity is 9c per unit from Elec­tro­gas, whereas with the in­ter­con­nec­tor, the price is 6c per unit, some­times as low as 3c. He said that the PN will be com­mit­ted, in fu­ture bud­gets, to buy­ing elec­tric­ity from where it is cheap­est, for the ben­e­fit of the en­tire pop­u­la­tion.

He said that the gov­ern­ment is try­ing to di­vert at­ten­tion away from it­self by mak­ing a num­ber of al­le­ga­tions against PN deputy leader Dr Beppe Fenech Adami. The Leader of the Op­po­si­tion cat­e­gor­i­cally de­nied any al­le­ga­tions and said that if the gov­ern­ment re­ally knew of any in­dis­cre­tions, then that meant it had cho­sen not to act in the past three and a half years.

The sec­ond di­ver­sion, Dr Busut­til said, will be in the bud­get next week, when the gov­ern­ment will an­nounce fur­ther re­duc­tions in elec­tric­ity and wa­ter bills. The gov­ern­ment, he be­lieves, will try to at­tribute such a de­crease to the tanker. This, he said, is fun­da­men­tally false, and the gov­ern­ment should thank the Na­tion­al­ist Party for their poli­cies which have helped.

PL re­ac­tion

“Dr Si­mon Busut­til is sim­ply be­ing neg­a­tive again,” a PL state­ment said in a re­ac­tion to Dr Busut­til’s speech. The Labour Party said that the Leader of the Op­po­si­tion is be­ing “bit­ter” and is look­ing to “di­vide peo­ple” on a bud­get that has not even been in­tro­duced.

The Labour Party said that Dr Busut­til is “closed in his own po­lit­i­cal es­tab­lish­ment and does not know the im­por­tant is­sues in peo­ple’s lives, which will be ad­dressed in the next bud­get.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Malta

© PressReader. All rights reserved.