Malta: LNG tanker completed, will provide ‘temporary supply’ of gas

Malta: LNG tanker completed, will provide ‘temporary supply’ of gas

The tanker which will be providing liquefied natural gas to the new 215MV plant at Delimara, inside

Marsaxlokk harbour, has been completed and will be dispatched in the coming days.

The tanker, which will also provide storage facility, is expected to berth in Malta by September.

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat and OPM Minister Konrad Mizzi presided over the sail-away ceremony of

Floating Storage Unit (FSU) Armada LNG Mediterrana in Singapore. The conversion of the vessel was

achieved in 17 months through the cooperation of the companies Bumi Armada, Electrogas Malta and

Keppel Shipyards in Singapore.

According to the Office of the Prime Minister, the conversion job has been lauded by experts who

explained that the FSU has the highest levels of security standards and will provide a temporary, yet

reliable, supply of gas.

The new gas-fired power station was originally envisaged to be completed in March 2015, but following

delays, then energy minister Konrad Mizzi had said that the gas plant would be delayed by 15 months and

be completed in June 2016.

However, a delay in the conversion of the LNG tanker meant that the second deadline had to be missed.

During a recorded interview on One Radio prior to his departure to Singapore, Muscat declined to give

any deadline for the completion of the LNG power station. He reiterated that the LNG tanker at

Birzebbugia would be used for a limited time until Malta would have its gas pipeline with Italy in place.

Addressing the ceremony, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said the ceremony also represented “a

celebration of freedom of a small country”.

“Freedom from the manacles which have in the last decades, due to lack of political will, shackled our

people’s spirits to surge ahead, to catch up with our European neighbours, and to push boundaries, not

least in the energy sector, for the benefit our people and future generations,” he said.

The Prime Minister said that the country had been in a desperate need for a reform in the energy sector

when his government took over in 2013.

“This will be the project which will not only complete the turnaround of Malta’s energy sector, but which

will be also ensuring that our electricity prices remain low and sustainable; that our electricity supply, at

the periphery of the European continent, remains secure, and which meets the ever-growing electricity

demand which reflects an ever-growing and strong Maltese economy,” Muscat said.

He said, that the most critical component of the government’s strategy in meeting the objectives of the

energy roadmap was the successful completion of the new power station by Electrogas, a part of which

was unveiled yesterday.

“Over a span of less than 40 months, we have successfully implemented a number of initiatives that have

turned around the Maltese energy sector,” Muscat said.

“This project will give citizens cleaner air; it will complete our breakaway from the old, inefficient and

heavy fuel oil plants, to a new energy mix, based on gas, which meets today’s environmental standards,

and which meets the needs of our modern economy.”

In Singapore, Muscat and Mizzi are accompanied by the OPM’s chief of staff, Keith Schembri, head of

government communications Kurt Farrugia, OPM (energy and projects) permanent secretary Ronald

Mizzi and legal consultant Aron Mifsud Bonnici.

In a reaction, shadow energy minister Marthese Portelli reiterated the Nationalist Party’s opposition to

the LNG tanker, arguing that it carried with it high risks.

“It is clear that Muscat does not care about the health and safety of Maltese families, especially those in

the south of Malta. He is only interested in his person interest and that of Keith Schembri and Konrad

Mizzi,” Portelli said.

She added that the new-gas fired power station was not required and the government should have used

the interconnector. tanker-completed- will-provide- temporary-supply-


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