The Environmental Safety Group has expressed “great concern” that the Gibraltar Government is contemplating LNG bunkering from the North Mole, adding that it calls into questions earlier official assurances that this would not happen.
The ESG agreed that the power station and LNG terminal had been the subject of extensive safety and environmental assessments.
But it said the LNG project now seemed poised to expand further to potentially include bunkering even though aspects of those assessments had yet to be completed.
During planning discussion, the ESG had raised issues that were still pending and was told that these would be tackled when part of a certification process known as Control of Major Accident Hazards [COMAH]
The group was assured that details of this critical assessment and contingency review would be made available when the COMAH investigation had been concluded.
“However, with these results still not available, the public now learns that the LNG project is poised to expand even further, with the prospect of bunkering,” the ESG said.
“This is a great concern to the ESG, and no doubt to many residents particularly those of Waterport Terraces, Harbour Views, Sir William Jackson Grove, Mons Calpe Mews, Watergardens.”
“The assurances given by our government to the ESG in private meetings, and to the public in press statements that this bunkering activity would never be supplied by the North Mole terminal now seem to have been made too hastily.”
“When the ESG raised this concern last year, it was irrefutably allayed on many occasions by the Government of Gibraltar, who insisted that there were no plans whatsoever to carry out this activity at this terminal that is designed and dedicated solely to our power station requirements.”
It added: “If it now appears that either Shell or GoG or both need to promote LNG bunkering activity from the North Mole terminal to justify their expenditure on this project, then the reality of the situation has been misinterpreted by the ESG, and the public, and this is the clarification that we are now asking from our government.” “Furthermore, we ask how this much higher level of LNG activity can be contemplated without the ‘green light’ that is required from the COMAH investigations.”