Mallia and Briguglio trade words over Sargas plant

AD chairperson Michael Briguglio and environmentalist Edward Mallia have contrasting views with regards to the Sargas proposal.

Mallia on Sunday Times front page story source: 'Unfortunately, that ‘experienced engineer Derek Lennon' comes from a place (the UK) with the worst possible record in these matters'
Mallia on Sunday Times front page story source: 'Unfortunately, that ‘experienced engineer Derek Lennon' comes from a place (the UK) with the worst possible record in these matters'

Briguglio believes that Malta should not waste time mulling over the Sargas proposal as he deems the proposal to be "too risky" and insists that Sargas's carbon-capture technology is untried and untested.

However, the respected and veteran environmentalist Edward Mallia is advocating a more cautious approach, and said that it is still too early to exclude any proposal.   

A statement issued by Sargas, claiming that their power plant can be fuelled by gas, was met with surprise by Alternattiva Demokratika chairperson Michael Briguglio.

Sargas and two of its engineering partners, DSME and SNC-Lavalin, are proposing a feasibility study to verify the conditions necessary for a new power plant that can run on either gas or 'biopaste' to complement the existing Delimara power station extension that will run on heavy fuel oil.

Sargas said its technology does not depend on coal. Sargas insisted that coal can be replaced by biopaste, a wet mix of biomass and coal. Sargas said the plant can also be fired on natural gas, also with carbon capture.

Briguglio expressed his doubts on the statement by Sargas that claims the Delimara plant can be fuelled by gas.  "Why is Sargas now proposing a gas fuelled plant and never mentioned this at an earlier stage?" Briguglio asked.

But in fact, Sargas had mentioned gas at a seminar which Briguglio had not attended.

Briguglio insisted that Sargas's latest proposal still incorporates carbon capture technology (CCS), and he opposes the use of CCS because he alleged that this is relatively untried and untested technology could lead to leaks, which could have catastrophic environmental effects.

Carbon capture is a process that captures carbon dioxide (CO2) from power plants, and then stored so it does not enter the atmosphere. The carbon is pumped into oil wells in order to increase pressure and pump up more oil, and is used in more than a thousand plants all over the world.

Briguglio also raised doubts on the cost of this latest proposal, as gas is more expensive than coal, and this will certainly increase the original costs quoted by Sargas for producing energy with a coal-fuelled plant. 

Briguglio said Malta cannot afford to waste time discussing and waiting for more studies on new and untried technologies. "We should not be a guinea pig. Malta should invest in tried and tested renewable energy in order to reach the 10% target set by the EU. Our energy should be produced by a combination of renewable sources and gas powered power plants."

Outspoken environmentalist and physicist Edward Mallia said having a gas-fuelled power plant is obviously better than having a plant powered by coal or heavy fuel oil. Gas does not produce sulphur and releases low emissions of particle matter. The most urgent matter to consider is where the gas will in fact be coming from. The obvious answer would be either a gas pipeline connected to Sicily or transportation of gas to Malta on big tanker ships.

Mallia said that before Sargas hit the headlines in Malta, he was aware of CCS, however many countries seemed to be getting disillusioned with the technology, and getting cold feet about introducing the technology for various reasons.

Regarding the use of gas to produce energy, Mallia said that he has "been making the same suggestions for quite some time. As for CCS being too risky from an environmental and economic perspective, I do not have enough facts at my command at this point in time to reach a definitive position in either direction".

Mallia also expressed his satisfaction regarding the decision by the new Danish government to decrease its reliance on fossil fuels. He however added that the Danes have not ruled out CCS yet. 

Mallia also noted that talk on guaranteeing stable long-term prices is pretty futile as nobody can "guarantee the price of anything beyond next month".

Regarding the safety of storing carbon in oil wells Mallia said "not even the Earth's geological processes capture carbon forever". Mallia also lambasted British chemical engineer Derek Lennon who has shed serious doubts on the Sargas proposal in the local media. Mallia said "unfortunately, that 'experienced engineer Derek Lennon' comes from a place (the UK) with the worst possible record in these matters".

 

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Incidentally, Malta has still a long way to go but, as I said but its environmental record has made enormous steps since Mintoff gave us the "gift of coal mountain" and the Mintoff-Sant land speculation scandals of the 1970s and 1980s. So Mintoffjani have no cause to feel smug about anything to do with the environment.
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@marks….nista’ nifhem il-frurstrazzjoni (ambjentali) li ghandek. Wara kollox simpatizzaturi tal-PN stess qeghedin jghidulna f’dawn il-bloggs li Malta ghanda reputazzjoni pessima fejn jidhol l-ambjent. U dan nafuh ahna lkoll, mhux hekk? Pero’ ma ghandex tehodha qatta bla habel kontra l-PL f’din il-kwistjoni. L-ewwel nett ghax il-PL qatt ma qal ejjew naqbdu u naghmluh il-progett ta’ Sarga imma qal biss li hu wiehed minn ohrajn li jista’ jigi ikunsidrat. U ikunsidrat jien nifhimha li l-ewwel ikollok l-istudji u l-fatti kollha u imbaghad tibda tqabbel ma’ alternativi ohra, mhux hekk? It-tieni nett, ghax nahseb li il-Gvern ta’ Gonzi, biex iddecida li ma jaghmel xejn ghal dawn ix-xhur kollha fuq il-proposta tas-Sarga, li incidentalment, semmiehom fil-publiku l-ewwel darba John Dalli, bilfors li ghandu l-istudji li juru li dan il-progett mhux viabli. U inti hekk trid, tara lid an il-progett ma jsirx, mhux hekk? Allura l-PM possibli ma ghandux studji aktar professjonali min dawn li nsibu ahna meta nibrawzjaw fuq l-internet u nfitxu fil-kotba taghna? U l-Gvern mhux kapaci jippublika dawn l-istudji u jaqtalha rasha din il-kwistjoni? Jien nahseb li hemm aktar fatturi jilaghbu f’din il-kwistjoni ‘from those that meet the eye’.
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"Mallia said "unfortunately, that 'experienced engineer Derek Lennon' comes from a place (the UK) with the worst possible record in these matters" Prof Mallia, you don't come from a place (Malta) with a very good record on such matters, either, so, unfortunately, your own reasoning would discredit you as well.
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@Einstein, with all due respect, this is not about Gonzi, this is about Carbon Capture and Storage which is a very risky option... but it seems that it is difficult for certain people the whole world revolves around how crappy Gonzi is, and around how much better we would all be if Muscat were PM... this is as far as their iq goes and they are incapable of arguing about anything else. I re-iterate that I don't give a toss about whatever Gonzi or Muscat says, after all they are equally pathetic. Irrespective of whatever Gonzi/Muscat might think of the issue I consider CCS to be potentially dangerous... anything else is out of point be it Dalli, Tonio Fenech, Bondi+ and all the other rants kicked up by most PL supporters who read this portal.
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Ghaliex dan il-gvern gharef u mimli professuri ma jippublikax l-istudji li ghandu f-idejh dwar il-proposta ta’ Sargas? Wara kollox, din il-kritika kollha nispera li ghandu l-fatti ta’ l-esperti f’idejh qabel ma sparalha u difinha din il-proposta. Ghalavolja issa qieghed jghidilna li jista’ jikunsidrha jekk jinghata pariri mit-teknici (hekk qal Tonio Fenech fuq Bondi+). Jien nixtieq naf JohnDalli kif ghadu b’haqu maghluq fuq dan is-suggett! Wara kollox kien hu li semmieh l-ewwel u min kif ta x’tifhem, kien hu li gabhom hawn lit as-Sargas. Imma issa ghan-nazzjonalisti ta’ Gonzi li jaghmel Dalli kollox hazin. Mhux hekk kien qalilna Gonzi innifsu li l-finanzi kien ser johodhom f’idejh biex ikollna l-finanzi fis-sod. Ammisjoni konxja li qabel, taht Dalli u EFA il-finanzi kienu fuq it-tafal. L-ifortuna li mill-hazin morna ghall-ghar!!!
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Sargas and the "Dalli Plan" have shown up the superficiality of the PL. Joseph Muscat cockily boasted that he could lower electricity rates because of the Sargas technology. Anglu Farrugia told us, on the record, that Labour had carried out a study about it while Marlene Farrugia knows nothing about such a study and relies on Google (and Wikipedia?) for her information. Partit tal-Kawlati.
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@BertuDimech .... fine don't trust Briguglio, see what the academics from Houston University have to say then... http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2010/apr/25/research-viabilty-carbon-capture-storage and these are the real McCoys, the people who have actually researched the subject .....
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@BertuDimech .... fine don't trust Briguglio, see what the academics from Houston University have to say then... http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2010/apr/25/research-viabilty-carbon-capture-storage and these are the real McCoys, the people who have actually researched the subject .....
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@ Firillu Kbir part II The "zero emissions platform" includes representatives of the petroleum industry ..... enough said ...... On the otherhand look at what Greenpeace has to say for example ... http://www.greenpeace.org/international/en/news/features/ccs-not-going-to-save-the-clim/ Among the topics Milloy has addressed are what he believes to be false claims regarding DDT, global warming, Alar, breast implants, secondhand smoke, ozone depletion, and mad cow disease.[2]"
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@ Firillu Kbir, again you do not check your sources of information... look at what wikipedia says about Steve Milloy (A US Conservative by the way) and Junk Science.... "Steven J. Milloy is a commentator for Fox News and runs the Web site junkscience.com, which is dedicated to "debunking" what Milloy labels "faulty scientific data and analysis." On Fox News Channel he is billed as a "Junk Science commentator." He describes himself as a libertarian.[1] The "zero emissions platform" includes representatives of the petroleum industry ..... enough said ...... On the otherhand look at what Greenpeace has to say for example ... http://www.greenpeace.org/international/en/news/features/ccs-not-going-to-save-the-clim/ Among the topics Milloy has addressed are what he believes to be false claims regarding DDT, global warming, Alar, breast implants, secondhand smoke, ozone depletion, and mad cow disease.[2]"
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Who is more credible? Simple, Prof Mallia is an authority on the matter, Briguglio is not, his academic expertise is elsewhere.
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Ghaqdiet tal Greens favur it-teknologija tas CCS http://junkscience.com/2011/12/07/fallback-greens-now-for-carbon-capture/ Informazzjoni dwar it-teknologija tal Carbon Capture & Storage min madwar id-dinja: http://www.zeroemissionsplatform.eu/
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@ marks. Niehu gost li ghidtilna li int kwalifikat biex tikkwota r-rapporti. Kull rapport ghandu agenda. Kun edukat u ibghat ir-risposta tieghek darba u mhux darbtejn. Din ghamilta ta' spiss.
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@ Firillu Kbir (sic.) 1) Gonzi is not "tieghi" unlike you, I do not need Gozi, Muscat or Briguglio (learn how to spell the surname for Pete's sake) to tell me what is fine and what is not. 2) Secondly Sargas has through its spokespersons told us that the price they quoted was based on the firing of coal and 10% biopaste... 3) I (unlike you) am competent in the subject and can quote a plethora of sources saying that CCS is risky. I get my information from reliable sources not from One news (unlike you). 4) Wind power is used all throughout Europe. 5) Edward Mallia has on more than one occasion advocated the use of wind power too, however you have obviously forgotten that. 6) I bet any sum you want that you support this proposal only because Joseph Muscat is willing to look into it. 7) Talking about qualifications, you call into question Michael Briguglio's qualifications what about yours?
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@ Firillu Kbir (sic.) 1) Gonzi is not "tieghi" unlike you, I do not need Gozi, Muscat or Briguglio (learn how to spell the surname for Pete's sake) to tell me what is fine and what is not. 2) Secondly Sargas has through its spokespersons told us that the price they quoted was based on the firing of coal and 10% biopaste... 3) I (unlike you) am competent in the subject and can quote a plethora of sources saying that CCS is risky. I get my information from reliable sources not from One news (unlike you). 4) Wind power is used all throughout Europe. 5) Edward Mallia has on more than one occasion advocated the use of wind power too, however you have obviously forgotten that. 6) I bet any sum you want that you support this proposal only because Joseph Muscat is willing to look into it. 7) Talking about qualifications, you call into question Michael Briguglio's qualifications what about yours?
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@ Raymond Gatt, as a matter of fact I do not need the government to make up my mind, I am well capable of looking up information myself and of forming an informed opinion.
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@ Raymond Gatt, as a matter of fact I do not need the government to make up my mind, I am well capable of looking up information myself and of forming an informed opinion.
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@ Marks. Milli jidher int taqra minn ghajn wahda u taqbez dak li ma joghddx ghal widnejk. Gonzi tieghek l-ewwel beda jirrecta fuq il-faham. Meta marsus qal li l-proposta ta' Sargas trid aktar studju. Ghadna ma smajniex li l-gvern irrifjuta ilk-proposta ta' Sargas. Jekk professuri il-kalibru ta' Edward Mallia jista' ma jkollomx ragun, kemm aktar jista' jghid ic-cucati min hgax qara artiklu x'imkien bhalek tikbirlu rasu u jahseb li m'hawn hadd bhalu. Jista Brigulju jghidilna xi kwalifiki ghandu biex noqghodu fuq dak li jghid. Ma jdahhaqniex bl-irdieden tar-rih ghax il-hsejjes li jghamlu huma tal-wahx.
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@ raymond gatt 1) The fact that Edward Mallia is a Professor does not mean that he is always right. Secondly CCS has raised more than an eyebrow all over Europe to the extent that Denmark has for the time being stopped accepting CO2. You can also look up information on the internet and reach your own conclusions. I have posted two links to articles from the Economist. But you can look up what Greenpeace has to say on the issue. I repeat, CCS is a risk, there are more than a 101 questions on the environmental risks of this type of technology. Secondly other experts have cast doubts on the viability of CCS so why is it even being considered as an option? only because Joseph Muscat thinks that the price for electricity quoted by the Sargas salesman makes his pipe dream of cheaper electricity prices more sellable???????
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@marks...Simple my friend, if it is that dangerous, the Sargas project should be officially declared as rubbish and dangerous by the government, who, I should think so, has all the necessary expert advices on the matter. Who am I, or, with all due respect, you to take upon ourselves to jump into conclusions. But, before and unless an official position is not forthcoming, please no more futile comments.
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@ raymond gatt 1) The fact that Edward Mallia is a Professor does not mean that he is always right. Secondly CCS has raised more than an eyebrow all over Europe to the extent that Denmark has for the time being stopped accepting CO2. You can also look up information on the internet and reach your own conclusions. I have posted two links to articles from the Economist. But you can look up what Greenpeace has to say on the issue. I repeat, CCS is a risk, there are more than a 101 questions on the environmental risks of this type of technology. Secondly other experts have cast doubts on the viability of CCS so why is it even being considered as an option? only because Joseph Muscat thinks that the price for electricity quoted by the Sargas salesman makes his pipe dream of cheaper electricity prices more sellable???????
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@ raymond gatt 1) The fact that Edward Mallia is a Professor does not mean that he is always right. Secondly CCS has raised more than an eyebrow all over Europe to the extent that Denmark has for the time being stopped accepting CO2. You can also look up information on the internet and reach your own conclusions. I have posted two links to articles from the Economist. But you can look up what Greenpeace has to say on the issue. I repeat, CCS is a risk, there are more than a 101 questions on the environmental risks of this type of technology. Secondly other experts have cast doubts on the viability of CCS so why is it even being considered as an option? only because Joseph Muscat thinks that the price for electricity quoted by the Sargas salesman makes his pipe dream of cheaper electricity prices more sellable???????
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How "fortunate" this country of ours is!!! Professors advocate caution when it comes to discuss matters of such importance and magnitude for our development whilst lay man take it upon themselves and decide that they know better. It crux of the matter is that before this issue was raised by John Dalli and later the PL, we, the Maltese citizens were left completely in the dark and nobody new of this Sargas idea. So much for a democratic government eh! Doing business on our behalf behind everybody's back. In the past, labour governments were labelled as secretive by the PN of EFA and DeMarco. Now secrecy has become the order of the day. And all in the name of confidentiality and what they term as good business. But surely not in the name of good governance and accountablility.
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coal is definitely the WORST option. HFO is cleaner than coal and leaves less residue than coal, plus it produces less SO2, less CO2, no mercury etc, etc. Also to consider that through CCS we would be "burying" CO2 underground and keeping our fingers crossed in the sense that we are not sure that the CO2 will stay put. Also CCS will entail the use of certain solvents will will end up in the atmosphere and also it might created localised pollution problems.... read the articles from the Economist and you'll see that after all CCS is not such a bright idea. Secondly after watching Anglu Farrugia, the Marlene Farrugia on PBS I am a tad confused about PL's views on the issue.
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@marks ........... maybe I wrote in chinese. PL is not advocating SARGAS's project but it is is considering it as an option, of course SARGAS have to prove their claims. I ask you which is the worst coal or HFO? Sorry for the repeat but one wors altered all the meaning.
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@marks ........... maybe I wrote in chinese. PL is advocating SARGAS's project but it is is considering it as an option, of course SARGAS have to prove their claims. I ask you which is the worst coal or HFO?
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"Clean coal is an oxymoron" - Al Gore ... apart from the fact that the statement "Unfortunately, that ‘experienced engineer Derek Lennon' comes from a place (the UK) with the worst possible record in these matters" is a statement of eye watering stupidity... The UK's track record on environmental issues says ABSOLUTELY NOTHING about Mr Lennon's expertise ....... It's like saying that we can not have human rights experts from Germany, because of Germany's track record in the 30s and 40s .....
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Labour supporters (e.g. The Alchemist) should research more rather than support a proposal only because Jospeh Muscat thinks that it is a good idea .... I am posting two links from articles taken from the Economist "Politicians are pinning their hopes for delivery from global warming on a technology that is not quite airtight " from http://www.economist.com/node/13226661?story_id=13226661 and "...CCS is proving easier to talk up than to get going" from http://www.economist.com/node/13235041
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Labour supporters (e.g. The Alchemist) should research more rather than support a proposal only because Jospeh Muscat thinks that it is a good idea .... I am posting two links from articles taken from the Economist "Politicians are pinning their hopes for delivery from global warming on a technology that is not quite airtight " from http://www.economist.com/node/13226661?story_id=13226661 and "...CCS is proving easier to talk up than to get going" from http://www.economist.com/node/13235041
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PL is advocating Profs Mallia stance, that is, approaching the matter with caution and take into consideration SARGAS claims as one of the options open for cheaper energy source.PL has not at any time pronounced itself in favour but has stated that SARGAS project can be looked into.
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Now everybody know that the expert in this field is Prof Mallia and not Briguglio. So, one can come to an easy conclusion.