GSD CONCERNED AT ‘POORLY PLANNED’ LNG PROJECT
Government responses to parliamentary questions on liquefied natural gas illustrate that the project was ‘poorly planned’, the GSD said, increasing its concerns about the safety of the scheme.
The GSD said it was ‘obvious’ that the Government made the decision to locate a gas and diesel fired power station at the North Mole without having any kind of risk assessment reports from experts on the supply and storage of LNG beforehand.
The GSD said government answers showed that the contact with the Health and Safety Laboratory post-dated both the policy decision to locate the power station at the North Mole and the issue of the tender.
The Government had said it first made contact with the Health and Safety Executive on June 7 2013 “and entered into a contract with the Health and Safety Laboratory to provide consulting services on all aspects of LNG related to the project”.
It then went on to say that “…in January 2014, two representatives of the HSL came to Gibraltar to assess the two proposed sites for the storage of LNG”.
The Government made the policy decision to locate the power station at the North Mole in 2012 and in the first half of 2013 the project went out to tender.
The final date for the registration of interest under the tender was May 31, 2013 and the closing date for tender submissions was August 1, 2013.
During the exchange in Parliament, the Minister for the Environment, Dr John Cortes, was given many opportunities during questions by the Leader of the Opposition to identify what experts were consulted before the decision was made to locate a gas fired power station at the North Mole “and none was forthcoming”, the GSD said.
“The Government should have had very clear plans as to how LNG would be stored and supplied to the power station before the decision was taken to go out to tender,” the Opposition said in a statement.
“Otherwise this appears to be a very poorly planned project that has taken nearly four years to get off the ground and we are still none the wiser as to how storage and supply of the LNG is to be handled.”
“The more the Opposition probes the Government on this issue the more it appears this project has been poorly planned.”
“That simply increases our concerns as to the safety issues associated with this project so close to densely populated areas.”