Marlene Farrugia dubs LNG tanker ‘as ugly as the biblical plagues’

Backbencher tells Energy Minister to lay all cards on the table

View of the LNG tanker (below) connected via pipeline to the Delimara plant
View of the LNG tanker (below) connected via pipeline to the Delimara plant

Labour MP Marlene Farrugia called on Energy Minister Konrad Mizzi “to carry out his duty” and inform parliament on what was being decided on the government energy plan.

She said, it was high time for the citizens to know what was going on with Labour’s new energy plan, especially citizens of the fifth district who will now have to face “a tanker as ugly as the biblical plagues”.

Farrugia was referring to the proposed berthing of a floating LNG storage vessel in the middle of Marsaxlokk bay to provide natural gas to the power station.

Urging both sides of the House to seek consensus on the energy sector, Farrugia said it was time for the Energy Minister to lay all cards on the table.

“This morning, on our way to the hospital in an ambulance taking my mother for an emergency operation, she told me to come to parliament and do my duty. And this is what I’m doing: I’m carrying out my duty,” Farrugia said in her opening comments.

Arguing that Malta was the envy of other nations, the MP said it was natural for her to urge government to continue improving the health services.

In her brief intervention during the budgetary vote for the energy and health ministry, Farrugia said the energy sector was the backbone of the country’s economy which dictated the nation’s competitiveness and investment attractiveness.

“It is a sector which should not be marred by speculation. Let us be clear: this government faced huge debts which accumulated over the years for the reason that both Enemalta and the Water Services Corporation were used as political football.”

She argued that subsequent governments used the entities to employ people even though these would not be productive in the sector while turning a blind eye to energy theft.

Farrugia said the nation had been promised a power station by March 2015 and, ever since there was a change in plans, the citizens were not given an explanation of what was being negotiated.

“How will the new plan make good for what the residents of the fifth district have to give up? If Konrad Mizzi truly loves his country, which I’m sure he does, he should give a clear explanation.”

She said the minister should also explain how the volatile price markets will impact energy prices.

“Today we expect the minister to lay all cards on the table and explain why residents of Marsaxlokk and Birzebbugia have to carry out this sacrifice with a tanker that will be as ugly as the biblical plagues,” she said.

During his intervention, Labour MP Deo Debattista urged government to invest in solar energy, suggesting that the land in Maghtab should be covered photovoltaic panels.

Debattista insisted that government should not wait until fossil fuels ran out to start heavily investing in renewable energy.

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