Evacuation plans in place for ‘extremely unlikely’ LNG accident

The Civil Protection Department has evacuation plans in case of 'extremely unlikely major accident'

All studies show that any such accident is an 'extremely unlikely event'
All studies show that any such accident is an 'extremely unlikely event'

The Civil Protection Department has contingency plans to evacuate Marsaxlokk residents in the case of a major emergency resulting from an accident at the new LNG plant. 

Such a decision will be taken by the department after “consultation” with the Office of the Prime Minister and ElectroGas Ltd.

The report was submitted by the CPD in the documentation presented as part of the Integrated Pollution Prevention Control permit.

All studies show that any such accidents, like the emergence of a large flammable vapour cloud or a fire creating a domino effect resulting in explosions in the FSU, are “extremely unlikely events”. 

The CPD report acknowledges that “the chances of a serious and very serious event that would put the public/environment at risk off‐site are remote” but the planning by CPD has to be adequate “regardless of the probability of identified events”.

According to the plan in the case of a major emergency ElectroGas Malta Ltd. will distribute an “emergency information card to all households of the local community on behalf of themselves and the authorities”. 

The emergency action card will list the actions to be taken in an emergency and replicate the instructions to be received on the automated phone messaging system. 

The CPD will take the decision as to whether or not to evacuate the resident population “in consultation with the operator and the OPM”. 

Procedures for evacuation of people from the facility itself are detailed in an internal emergency plan. 

Any evacuation of persons within the hazard area outside the plant itself will be under the control of police, and evacuation procedures will be decided at the time, “taking into account the type of incident, weather conditions and technical advice given by CPD & the site management”. 

Arrangements are in place for the CPD Emergency Co‐ordinating Officer to request assistance from the Malta Police Force, Transport Malta and to use Armed Forces of Malta resources when not deployed in their primary role. 

The “operational section” of the plan is not disclosed on “grounds of national secturity”. This is because it is deemed to contain commercial information “provided in confidence for official purposes” and its contents can only to be disclosed on a “need to know” basis to authorities concerned with implementing the plan in the event of a major accident at the Delimara site.

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