LNG risk as­sess­ments to be pub­lished with pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion

Malta Independent - - FRONT PAGE -

The En­vi­ron­ment and Re­sources Au­thor­ity yes­ter­day con­firmed that all the risk as­sess­ments on the LNG tanker for the new De­li­mara power sta­tion will be pub­lished once the pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion process kicks off.

In a let­ter ad­dressed to Op­po­si­tion leader Si­mon Busut­til, who re­quested re­ports’ pub­li­ca­tion, the ERA said, “The same can be said for the pub­li­ca­tion of re­ports as re­quested by your­self, as these will be avail­able for the pub­lic in the com­ing days as part of the process un­der­taken by this au­thor­ity... it is good to note that as part of this ex­er­cise, there will also be a pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion.”

It added that the ERA is en­sur­ing that the nec­es­sary pro­cesses and stud­ies are be­ing ad­hered to in ac­cor­dance with the law.

In re­sponse to a string of ques­tions made on Tues­day night in Par­lia­ment by Op­po­si­tion Leader Si­mon Busut­til on the con­tro­ver­sial LNG tanker, Oc­cu­pa­tional Health and Safety Au­thor­ity Chair­man Deo De­bat­tista yes­ter­day re­torted that the rel­e­vant re­ports have not been made pub­lic be­cause work is still on­go­ing.

In a let­ter sent to Dr Busut­til, he said that the com­pe­tent au­thor­i­ties for the LNG tanker, made up of the OHSA, the En­vi­ron­ment and Re­sources Au­thor­ity, the Plan­ning Au­thor­ity and the Civil Pro­tec­tion Depart­ment, are tasked with eval­u­at­ing and com­mu­ni­cat­ing con­clu­sions of the re­ports sub­mit­ted by the LNG tanker op­er­a­tors.

He said that this process is still on­go­ing and that the rel­e­vant au­thor­i­ties are also tasked with or­gan­is­ing and car­ry­ing out in­spec­tions when the tanker be­comes op­er­a­tional.

“In line with the com­pe­tences of the rel­e­vant au­thor­i­ties, the OHSA was tasked with em­ploy­ing for­eign ex­perts that have much ex­pe­ri­ence to as­sist on a tech­ni­cal level through­out eval­u­a­tions of all the rel­e­vant doc­u­ments.”

Dr De­bat­tista said the doc­u­ments will be made pub­lic once the eval­u­a­tion process is con­cluded and the pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion con­nected with the IPPC is launched.

He added that the OHSA be­lieved that in this way, the en­tity would be ob­serv­ing the prin­ci­ples of trans­parency ex­pected of pub­lic au­thor­i­ties and as­sured that the switch from heavy fuel oil to gas will be car­ried out in the most ef­fi­cient and pru­dent way pos­si­ble.

Sil­vio Par­nis hails LNG tanker’s ar­rival as an ‘im­por­tant de­vel­op­ment’

Chair­man of the Con­sul­ta­tive Coun­cil for the South Sil­vio Par­nis yes­ter­day hailed the ar­rival of the LNG tanker is an im­por­tant de­vel­op­ment for govern­ment’s plan, to trans­form the coun­try’s en­ergy gen­er­a­tion sec­tor from “one that de­pends on oil to a cleaner method”.

This step, he said, will re­sult in 90% less dust in the air, a 50% re­duc­tion in emis­sions and the clos­ing down of the old De­li­mara power sta­tion.

He claimed that the op­po­si­tion is merely scare­mon­ger­ing, and said that the peo­ple “ap­pre­ci­ate that the tem­po­rary use of the tanker is a wise choice by the PL govern­ment, which has like in many other sec­tors, had to take ac­tion due to the lack of vi­sion by past PN govern­ments”.

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