Updated | Environment Authority ‘has no option’ but to reject LNG tanker permit – PN

Nationalist Party insists that LNG tanker anchored in Marsaxlokk Bay does not satisfy safety requirements

A report drafted by PN executive president Ann Fenech finds that the LNG tanker does not satisfy safety requirements
A report drafted by PN executive president Ann Fenech finds that the LNG tanker does not satisfy safety requirements

The Environment Resources Authority has no option but to reject the permit for the LNG tanker Mediterrana to be used as a Floating Storage Unit in Marsaxlokk bay, according to the Nationalist Party.

The party on Saturday published a preliminary report, drafted by PN president Ann Fenech, on "significant failures and deficiencies in the risk and safety studies" justifying the presence of the FSU in Marsaxlokk.

Fenech, a maritime lawyer by profession, said that the anchoring of the LNG Mediterrana in an unsheltered bay is wrong and goes against good practice and international rules.

"Not only was there a complete disregard of this crucial premise that a jetty and FSU must be placed in sheltered water, but there was total disregard of the other golden rule that all mooring points on board the vessel should contain quick-release hooks," Fenech said, quoting from the report.

Fenech said the ERA was obliged to reject the permit before it, because an alternative was doable and available as in the case of Livorno.

The positioning of the FSU ignored rules and regulations geared towards the prevention of major accidents and because it is in breach of the Seveso III directive, the report concluded.

That alternative did not put lives and property at risk by placing the FSU outside Marsaxlokk and piping the gas underwater directly to the new power station.

In a reaction, the ministry within the Office of the Prime Minister – Konrad Mizzi’s ministry – reiterated that the opposition’s plan would require Malta to go back to making use of heavy fuel oil, higher bills and power cuts.

It insisted, that the PN’s plan would require the Marsa power station to remain operative.

“It is ridiculous that the opposition first attempted to scaremonger using explosions and dangers for residents, and now it has turned its attention to waves. Ann Fenech speaks as if she were a security expert – when competent experts have presented reports on the new infrastructure,” the government said.

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