Noth­ing in Elec­tro­gas stud­ies on com­pen­sa­tion to third par­ties in case of dam­age – PN


The PN has posed quite a few ques­tions re­gard­ing the new Elec­tro­gas power plant, ac­cord­ing to an ex­ec­u­tive sum­mary of the doc­u­ment it pre­sented dur­ing yes­ter­day evening’s pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion on the Elec­tro­gas plant.

The PN has said that the pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion doc­u­ments do not in­clude in­for­ma­tion re­gard­ing the com­pen­sa­tion avail­able to third par­ties in case of in­jury, death or prop­erty dam­age, and have sub­mit­ted a num­ber of ques­tions in this re­gard.

In the ex­ec­u­tive sum­mary of the doc­u­ment, the PN asks: “How and by whom will the res­i­dents and those with com­mer­cial in­ter­ests in the area or in any area af­fected by an ac­ci­dent or ca­su­alty be com­pen­sated?”

They also ask which are the in­surance en­ti­ties cov­er­ing the sub­stan­tial risks to third par­ties as­so­ci­ated with the project, and: “will the ves­sel’s pro­tec­tion and in­dem­nity club be cov­er­ing the dam­ages which will be caused in the event of a gas leak caused at the man­i­fold, dur­ing a ship to ship trans­fer or as a re­sult of a rup­ture of the ves­sel’s tanks caused by col­li­sion or ground­ing? And if not, who will cover the dam­ages?”

The sum­mary also men­tions the wave cli­mate and wave pen­e­tra­tion stud­ies re­lated to Marsaxlokk. PN ar­gues that they were not con­ducted on the ba­sis of real and ac­tual wave buoy read­ings but on the ba­sis of sta­tis­ti­cal ex­trap­o­la­tion from weather sites.

“The same re­ports them­selves con­tain a crit­i­cal cau­tion and state in the con­clud­ing re­marks that pi­lot ob­ser­va­tions and storm videos in­di­cate that the wave height in­side Marsaxlokk Bay may be higher than pre­dicted in the study. They ad­mit that the lack of avail­able site mea­sure­ments makes it im­pos­si­ble to prop­erly deal with such in­for­ma­tion and in­crease the re­li­a­bil­ity of the study”.

Turn­ing to the jetty, the PN ar­gues that one of the re­ports

which was re­leased to the pub­lic reads that at a sig­nif­i­cant wave height of 2.5 me­ters, the FSU will break her moor­ings.

“This is a force 5. It also states that it was chal­leng­ing to con­struct a suc­cess­ful spread moor­ing sys­tem in shal­low water and rec­om­mended a multi-buoy sys­tem.

“In fact no multi buoy sys­tem was used and the cur­rent storm moor­ing sys­tem is a spread moor­ing sys­tem”.

PN also ar­gued that Trans­port Malta has in­sisted that the jetty be classed by Bureau Ver­i­tas, how­ever this was not yet done by Au­gust 2016.

“There is no record in the doc­u­men­ta­tion of such clas­si­fi­ca­tion”.

An­other is­sue which con­cerns the PN is the “ab­sence of quick re­lease hooks on ves­sels”.

The PN men­tioned three re­ports, which state that the ves­sel was go­ing to be con­verted into an FSU and fit­ted with quick re­lease hooks.

“Quick re­lease hooks on ves­sels are es­sen­tial to en­sure the quick re­lease of moor­ings. In the present sce­nario there needs to be the fa­cil­ity in an emer­gency for the im­me­di­ate re­lease of the ves­sel from the Jetty or from the liq­ue­fied nat­u­ral gas car­rier (LNGC) which will be along­side her, or from her storm moor­ings”.

PN states that the ves­sel has not been fit­ted with quick re­lease hooks, ar­gu­ing that if the FSU (Float­ing Stor­age Unit) needs to de­tach from her storm moor­ings in an emer­gency, “she can­not and she needs to rely on spe­cialised tugs which will have to lift the eight chains on to the deck and re­move the shack­les”.

The doc­u­ment states that no emer­gency ma­rine plan has been di­vulged in the Elec­tro­gas Emer­gency plans.

“This is un­ac­cept­able. They have 15 blank pages when deal­ing with the Emer­gency plans ma­rine side for: LNG Spill, Gas Re­leases and Fire Sce­nar­ios at the FSU LNG Spill, Gas Re­leases and Fire Sce­nar­ios at the Jetty and Col­li­sion”.

The ex­ec­u­tive sum­mary says that cor­re­spon­dence ex­changed be­tween CPD and Trans­port Malta show that nei­ther one nor the other wants to take re­spon­si­bil­ity for the Emer­gency plan ma­rine side.

The ex­ec­u­tive sum­mary also read that the cliff face di­rectly be­hind the jetty at De­li­mara is very soft Mid­dle Glo­bige­rina Lime­stone which col­lapses reg­u­larly has not been taken into ac­count.

“This un­sta­ble area prone to col­lapse is dan­ger­ously close to the jetty against which the FSU will be moored per­ma­nently and was not con­sid­ered”.

They ask what the ef­fect of fur­ther cliff fail­ures on the jetty car­ry­ing LNG pip­ing and on the jetty against which the FSU is moored, are.

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