Press Release 5th February 2014

Din l-Art Helwa has noted comments by Enemalta reported in the press, indicating that the Risk Analysis for the new gas-fired power station will be completed in the environmental permit (IPPC) phase, after the development permit is granted.

Din l-Art Helwa insists that the Risk Analysis must be completed before the development permit, which will decide the location of the gas plant, is granted. The studies available so far indicate that some of the major risks are linked to the location of the plant, especially the gas storage unit. The environmental permit will focus on the operational aspects of the unit, and not its location.

According to what has now been reported, the more contentious aspects of the development permit, such as the Risk Analysis, are being left incomplete and will only be presented after the development permit is already granted and when it will be too late to change the location of the gas storage and re-gasification units.

Already when the Delimara power station extension was granted in 2011, the local councils of the area and others had disagreed with the fact that the planning permit of this major project was granted well before the environmental permit was decided. Is this now to be repeated?

As the environmental permit for the new power station is already being drafted, Din l-Art Helwa maintains that the development permit and the environmental permit studies should be completed and assessed together, to ensure that a holistic and well-informed decision is taken on this project of major national importance.

A complete assessment of risks to health and safety of the proposed gas storage in Marsaxlokk bay must be presented before any decisions are taken.