[WATCH] LNG tanker enters Marsaxlokk bay, undergoes first sea trial

Armada LNG Mediterrana has entered Marsaxlokk Bay and will be undergoing its first sea trial • Konrad Mizzi hails tanker's arrival 'a historic moment'

Armada LNG Mediterrana enters Marsaxlokk bay
Armada LNG Mediterrana enters Marsaxlokk bay
LNG tanker enters Marsaxlokk bay • Video by Chris Mangion

The LNG tanker that will be supplying gas to the new gas-fired power plant in Delimara has finally reached Malta and this morning it slowly made its entrance at Marsaxlokk bay.

The multimillion Armada LNG Mediterrana, with a gross tonnage of 125,000 tonnes, bunkered overnight at Hurd’s Bank and this morning was given permission by the Port Authorities to sail into the bay for sea trials.

Members of the press were invited to follow the arrival of the tanker, followed by a press briefing by minister Konrad Mizzi, who has retained responsibility of the energy sector. The minister hailed the tanker’s arrival as “a historic moment”.

“This is a historic moment for the country which is switching from a heavy pollutant to gas. The government is honouring its electoral pledge,” Mizzi said.

The minister added that several safety tests and simulations will be carried out in the coming days. Information pertaining to the safety tests will be published.

The Environment and Resources Authority (ERA) is also carrying out in-depth studies which will also be discussed at public consultation level. Two other consultations were carried out at different stages of the project.

 A number of tests for familiarization as well as safety drills were carried out this morning. The floating storage unit (FSU) is currently empty.

Video is unavailable at this time.

The tests and simulations will continue in the subsequent days. Procedures are being coordinated between ElectroGas, BumiArmada and the Port Authorities.

The FSU forms part of the ElectroGas power project designed to start delivering LNG-generated electricity. It took 1.5 million working hours to transform the tanker into a floating storage unit.

The vessel has a capacity of around 125,000 cubic metres of LNG, enough to last around up to eight weeks of normal operations.

It will be moved out of the Marsaxlokk bay once the pipeline is in place, the Prime Minister has said.

The tanker has been met with opposition by the Nationalist Party who insisted that it placed "substantial risk" on residents.

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