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Labour says Enemalta admitted to faulty equipment in Delimara

Labour MP Joe Mizzi says Enemalta's statement on the air-filtering system of four tanks at Delimara is an admission that the equipment is not functioning as it should.

6 July 2012, 12:00am
Enemalta's reply to Labour's statements on the air-filtering system of four tanks used to store Heavy Fuel Oil at Delimara is an admission that the equipment is not functioning as it should, Labour MP said.

Last month, Mizzi claimed that the air-filtering system of four tanks used to store Heavy Fuel Oil at the Delimara power plant is not working well with the result that residents of Marsaxlokk and surrounding areas are being plagued by foul smells and fumes.

Enemalta had retorted that all four tanks provided under the contract, where the fuel is stored at around 90 degrees, are equipped with activated carbon filters which remove fumes which may be emitted from the tanks, either when the tank is being heated up from cold or when the tank is being filled up.

However the corporation said that a missing valve on the system was "expected to arrive soon." Enemalta added that its engineers implemented a temporary solution. It said a water seal has been fitted to the tanks and said, "this has proven to be effective and hardly any smells are noticeable in the vicinity of the tanks."

Mizzi explained that the vents allow air inside the tanks but the at the moment the opposite is happening and fumes inside the tanks are escaping through the vents.

"As Enemalta has admitted, the vent on each tank is blocked by a water seal and in order to block fumes and smells from escaping."

Mizzi added that the water seals are plastic buckets full of water noting that the plant almost cost 200 million euros.

"Above all, this temporary solution is not effective and the vents are releasing a foul smell of fuel," Mizzi said.

The Labour whip said that "probably the valve mentioned is not so vital because the function of the vents is to allow air inside the tanks without obstruction, therefore there is no need for a valve."

Mizzi stressed that the foul smells and fumes are escaping the tanks because the extraction system is not powerful enough.

Morover, the MP said that the filters, which absorb the fuel, are releasing strong smells instead of clean air.

Mizzi also remarked that Enemalta's statement in which it did not exclude the possibility that the smells are being emitted by the Delimara power plant is very similar to the stand the corporation took over the black dust case in Marsa.