The Malta Independent 11 July 2020, Saturday

Bad weather: LNG tanker to be moved away from jetty ‘as a precaution’

Monday, 11 November 2019, 21:04 Last update: about 9 months ago

The LNG tanker at Delimara will be repositioned 70 metres away from the jetty as a precaution, as winds of up to Force 8 are expected to hit the area, Electrogas Malta said.

The company noted that, according to the weather forecast for Monday and Tuesday, Marsaxlokk Bay will be battered by Force 6 to 8 south and south-east winds and rough to very rough seas.

Electrogas said it is "committed to operate the Delimara Powerplant in a safe manner, without compromise."


As a precaution and in advance of the deterioration of weather, the FSU tanker 'Armada LNG Mediterrana' will be repositioned into a 'spread or storm position', 70 metres away from the jetty in a transverse direction.

One of the preventive measures adopted by Electrogas Malta Ltd is a 'Spread Mooring System', which is designed to allow the tanker to remain berthed close to the jetty during severe weather conditions, it said.

"The Spread Mooring System is connected to the FSU tanker by way of custom-built winches on its deck, with a full double installation of chains and 8 Stevshark anchors weighing 35 tonnes at every corner of the ship. During such preventive measures, LNG will not be sent to shore and other backup energy sources will be used."

Electrogas said it will resume with its operations after the storm passes, and once the FSU tanker captain determines that it is safe for the ship to berth at the jetty.


Energy supply will not be affected - ministry

In a statement, the Energy Ministry said that "this precautionary measure, which conforms to the safety standards of the new gas technology introduced in Malta, will be taken for the first time in over three years since when the LNG storage unit sailed in Malta as part of the ambitious project for Malta to shift from heavy fuel oil to gas for the generation of electricity and the reduction in electricity tariffs for families and businesses."

It is pertinent to note that Government is on track in its plans to implement the gas pipeline project between Malta and Sicily which will replace the need for a temporary floating storage unit, and hence similar precautionary measures will eventually be unnecessary, the ministry said.

"The Ministry is informed that the repositioning of the LNG vessel will not affect the electricity supply as a result of the energy mix developed by this administration aimed at eliminating dependency on one source of supply."

While remote service interruptions can always occur, especially in extreme meteorological conditions, the Ministry has been assured that all necessary preparations are in place to ascertain a prompt service if the need arises. 


Photo: Alenka Falzon

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