De­lay in berthing of LNG tanker means some­thing is wrong – PN

Malta Independent - - FRONT PAGE - ■ Neil Camil­leri

The de­lay in the berthing of the LNG tanker at what should be its place in Marsaxlokk Har­bour could mean that some­thing is wrong, Na­tion­al­ist Party ex­ec­u­tive pres­i­dent and mar­itime law ex­pert Ann Fenech said yes­ter­day.

Ad­dress­ing the me­dia in Marsaxlokk, Dr Fenech said it was ev­i­dent that the ves­sel had not man­aged to an­chor to the storm moor­ing sys­tem that Elec­tro­gas has spo­ken of. The Ar­mada LNG Mediter­rana has been in and out of port at least three times in the last eight days.

Asked to elab­o­rate on her claims, Dr Fenech said only Elec­tro­gas knew what the prob­lem was. The PN is bas­ing its claims on the ap­par­ent de­lay and the fact that it makes no com­mer­cial sense to keep the ves­sel out at sea. “This ves­sel is pre­sum­ably be­ing char­tered, for thou­sands of euro a day, to Elec­tro­gas. From a com­mer­cial per­spec­tive it makes sense to put the ves­sel into op­er­a­tion as soon as pos­si­ble. The fact that is has still not been berthed per­ma­nently means that some­one some­where is un­happy with some­thing.”

The PN pres­i­dent also spoke about the pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion on the stud­ies re­lated to the project, which will start to­day (See pg 7). “Pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion should have been held be­fore the whole project started, not after it was com­pleted.” This was “an in­sult” to the Seveso di­rec­tive, she said, which said pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion should be held well in ad­vance.

The pub­lic now ex­pects the fol­low­ing stud­ies to be pub­lished: The Mar­itime Im­pact As­sess­ment, the Risk Anal­y­sis re­ports, emer­gency plans and the Ma­jor Ac­ci­dent Pre­ven­tion Pol­icy. “Peo­ple need to know what the risks are and if the ves­sel can stay along­side the power sta­tion dur­ing a storm.”

Dr Fenech said it would be pre­ma­ture to state how the PN would re­act if the stud­ies were sat­is­fac­tory.

PN spokesman on plan­ning Ryan Cal­lus said the Plan­ning Au­thor­ity last week an­nounced that the pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion ex­er­cise was open and gave a link to the sup­posed stud­ies. How­ever, no stud­ies were made avail­able on the PA web­site and the au­thor­ity yes­ter­day said that pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion will start to­day. This was noth­ing but dam­age con­trol.

Shadow Min­is­ter for En­ergy Marthese Portelli said peo­ple and the so­cial part­ners were dis­ap­pointed that the gov­ern­ment did not re­duce en­ergy tar­iffs. She said the gov­ern­ment had man­aged to re­duce tar­iffs thanks to the BWSC plant, the in­ter­con­nec­tor and cheaper in­ter­na­tional prices. The gov­ern­ment, she said, should have an­nounced an­other de­crease.

Dr Portelli said the PN is promis­ing cheaper util­ity rates be­cause it will buy en­ergy from the cheap­est source rather than the one cho­sen by the Prime Min­is­ter.

Photo: Jonathan Borg

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Malta

© PressReader. All rights reserved.