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  • ESG reacts to LNG Reports

    ESG disappointed with LNG documentation

    The ESG committee has now had a first reading of the documents that have been released by GoG on the subject of provision and storage of LNG for our new North Mole power station.

    The main area of our concern, a concern which has been shared by much of the community prior to the release of these documents, has been in regard to the safety implications of this new-for-Gibraltar, high-energy, fuel.

    After reading the documentation supplied, we are even more concerned. This apprehension is based on the following;

    1 The documents do not resemble other safety reports carried out by the same companies for safety assessments in other installations. In fact, Lloyds Register classify their documents as ‘reviews’.
    2 Additional documentation that would clarify some assumptions made and would also better identify the risks are not included in these documents and there is reference to other important investigations that still need to be completed by Shell. .
    3 In the documents supplied by Government there is no inclusion of terrorism as a risk factor, or adequate assessment of external factors affecting the safety of the operation of the storage plant.
    4 Highest risk thresholds can also be questioned, like for example considering that one of the five tanks exploding represents the worst-case-scenario.
    5 Also questionable, without documentation of any appropriate research and assessment, is the dismissal of using the detached mole as a suitable and most distant location because “it is not designed nor built for mooring of large vessels.”. It seems to be adequate for the current siting of a much larger fuel tanker operation, and that is without the benefit of structural improvements.
    6 There is also the unresolved concern expressed by the MoD, of the inadequacy of the aeronautical study on the effect of power station exhaust plumes on flights from Gibraltar Airport.
    7 Clearly, the analysis of the safety aspect is not over and therefore it is presumptuous at this point to classify the overall project as being ‘SAFE’ and also incorrect to assume, with the documentation available, that it is the safest possible LNG installation for Gibraltar

    These and other issues will be raised by the ESG via the EIA and at the DPC.
    Government as landlord has already awarded a contract to Shell in advance of any presentation given to, and approval gained from, the DPC. This approval would need to satisfy all the planning and EIA requirements.

    Clearly there is the pressure of time and the ESG is well aware of our desperate power station requirements but such a project deserves the highest possible transparency, scrutiny and debate and we’re falling short on these.