Updated | Mizzi pledges full transparency on LNG tanker, accuses Busuttil of trying to ruin power station project

Opposition leader writes to Environment and Resources Authority and to Occupational Health and Safety Authority, urging them to ensure that the LNG tanker is removed from Marsaxlokk Bay until it can be proven that it doesn't pose health and safety risks 

The LNG Mediterrana has docked in Marsaxlokk Bay
The LNG Mediterrana has docked in Marsaxlokk Bay

Minister Konrad Mizzi pledged “full transparency” over the LNG tanker that is set to be berthed in Marsaxlokk Bay after Opposition leader Simon Busuttil urged the environment and occupational health and safety authorities to block its entrance into the port.

Mizzi, a former energy minister who was demoted to a ‘minister without portfolio’ following the Panama Papers revelations, hit out at Busuttil for doing all in his power to try and ruin Labour’s landmark LNG power station project.

“Busuttil can’t stomach the fact that the government has managed to turn the energy sector around – from a situation in which tariffs were high, the country was reliant on heavy fuel oil and Enemalta had failed, to one in which tariffs have been reduced, energy production is shifting from oil to gas, and Enemalta is back on its feet.”

He said that the Delimara power station will reduce particulate matter by 90% and emissions by 50%, and that the public realize that they will ultimately benefit from such a shift in energy production.

Busuttil earlier sent two letters to the Environment and Resources Authority (ERA) and the Occupational Health and Safety Authority (OHSA), urging them to stop the LNG tanker from being berthed from Marsaxlokk Bay.

The Armada LNG Mediterrana, which will supply gas to the new gas-fired power station in Delimara, arrived in Marsaxlokk Bay on Monday, to conduct sea trials before temporarily departing for a few days to “carry out further familiarization and security tests” offshore. 

However, Busuttil warned that the anchoring of the tanker goes against the EU’s Seveso Directive on the prevention of industrial accidents that has been transposed into Maltese law.

“The directive makes it clear that authorities should stop entities from operating if their measures to prevent and mitigate against accidents are insufficient,” he wrote. “It also makes it clear that information on potential risks must be provided regularly to everyone who could be subjected to danger.

“As such, I am requesting that you observe the Seveso Directive by ensuring that the risk assessments report on the tanker are published, and that the tanker is removed from Marsaxlokk Bay until it can be proven that it doesn’t pose health and safety risks to people, businesses, fishermen and industries in the area.”

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat yesterday brushed off Busuttil’s concerns about the tanker, questioning the PN leader whether he would rather Malta stick with heavy-fuel oil as its primary energy source.

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