by Petra Caruana Dingli
This morning in the article ‘Safety concerns mean further energy studies’, the Times of Malta focuses on risk and safety concerns about the proposed location of the gas storage vessel at the new Delimara power station.
According to the Times, Enemalta agrees that further risk assessment is needed, but will do it after the development permit – which determines location – is granted.
This sounds like they intend to finalise their assessment of the safety risks related to location, after a final decision on location is taken. Can this be true?
The Marsaxlokk and Birzebbugia local councils say that the risk analysis of the dispersion of a potentially dangerous gas cloud is invalid, as it is not modelled on Marsaxlokk bay but on a different bay in Spain. They want the gas tanker to be located outside the bay.
Prof Hans Pasman, an expert in risk assessment for this type of operation, has questioned the proximity of the proposed gas storage to inhabited areas, and to the energy generation equipment at Delimara. He also asked whether the possibility of ship-to-ship collisions in this busy port has been adequately studied.
All these concerns are linked to location and must obviously be addressed before the final location for gas storage is decided. All options and a complete risk assessment should now be put on the table for discussion and weighed up.
Another article by George Camilleri in the Times of Malta today raises similar concerns.