GSD party in Gibraltar protested recently against the Gibraltar government claiming it is creating uncertainty over the storage of LNG.
GSD said that the government does not have a mandate to build an LNG operated power station and still less an LNG installation handling bunkering quantities of LNG.
The GSD voiced its concerns over risks involving the proximity of LNG installations and even though it accepts that the risk is low but accidents do happen and have happened in a number of installations worldwide. The party called for transparency and publication of the reports showing the consequences for people and property should something go wrong.
A GSD spokesperson commented that in its latest report the Government said that its plan for a dual-fired power station was cleared by experts from the British Government’s Health and Safety Executive but that it is deliberately confusing the issue of the power station with that of the LNG storage, supply and bunkering installation. This project was revealed in late 2014, but no specific plans were made public, and the government is apparently planning to allow a private company to build the LNG facility in exchange for bunkering rights, but the public safety assessment has not been carried out.
“Indeed, if the HSE had provided a detailed report on the safety aspects of a bunkering capacity LNG Installation, why would the Government still be waiting for outstanding risk assessments,” the spokesman said.
The GSD also notes the observations of Robin Meech, Managing Director of Marine and Energy Consulting who said that he was not optimistic about the prospects for LNG bunkering in Gibraltar. Meech was in Gibraltar to present a session in the Gibraltar Government sponsored bunkering industry forum. He also said that large international vessels will not require bunkers for LNG for maybe 15 to 30 years. This contrasts sharply with the view expressed by the Government that Gibraltar had to make an immediate decision on LNG bunkering as a matter of economic imperative. In its most recent communiqué, the Government has revised its estimate as to the economic imperative of LNG Bunkering to 5 to 15 years in the future. There is clearly no rush to build a bunkering LNG installation, GSD said in its statement.
Further, the GSD examined claims that EU law will require Gibraltar to offer LNG bunkering facilities and found that these claims are not correct.
LNG World News Staff; Image: gibraltar.gov.gi