A press conference on the generation of electricity through the use of gas was held by Arnold Cassola and Carmel Cacopardo, Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson of Alternattiva Demokratika the Green Party (AD) and its candidates for the European Parliament next May.
"This time last year, during the electoral campaign, AD was very clear about the Labour Party’s proposal to produce electricity through the use of gas. We had then stated that air quality would be much improved and that it was also possible to reduce electricity and water bills.
But 12 months ago we had also stated that it was as yet unclear how the risk resulting from the storage of a large quantity of gas next to the power station itself as well as to residential areas and maritime operations was to be addressed.
AD has considered the Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) and in particular the study on the analysis of risks by Roberto Vaccari which forms an integral part of the said EIA.
The risk report is inconclusive because, whilst it carries out an analysis, it does not proceed to the logical conclusions, in particular on the practical manner in which the generation of electricity through the use of gas will impact the other activities currently ongoing in Marsaxlokk Port.
Vaccari, for example, concludes on the possibility of an incident as a result of which a cloud of gas accumulates in the area in front of the Freeport Terminal precisely in the area where ships manoeuvre prior to their berthing to unload their shipment of containers (diagram attached). Just this should have been sufficient to lead to the conclusion that the proposed solution for the generation of electricity through the use of gas stored on a ship is a serious threat to the secure operation of the Freeport.
Other countries have created a security zone around the plant in order to isolate the potential possibility of an accident and to avoid its spilling over. This would reduce the impacts on people and on property and would minimise the economic damage which would result. This is how the Regional Government of Tuscany acted just outside the Port of Livorno where it established a security zone of eight kilometres around the ship serving as a gas storage point anchored 22.5 kilometres off the coast.
Under the cover that the risk analysis report is a preliminary assessment, Vaccari does not arrive to any conclusion. Whilst he refers to other installations in the Port of Marsaxlokk which might be affected as a result of a domino effect, the manner in which this can come about is not examined by either Vaccari or the EIA report.
Whilst it is known that it will be required to severely curtail maritime movements within Marsaxlokk Port, including those by fishermen, the EIA is silent about the matter.
All this should have led to the conclusion that the unloading and storage of gas at Marsaxlokk Port is a source of danger to both residents and the country’s economy.
Alternattiva Demokratika rat l-istudju dwar l-impatti ambjentali (EIA) u in partikolari l-istudju ta’ Roberto Vaccari dwar l-analiżi tar-riskji liema studju jifforma parti integrali mill-imsemmi EIA.
L-istudju dwar ir-riskji huwa inkonklużiv minħabba illi fil-waqt li jagħmel analiżi ma jwassalx din l-analiżi għal konklużjoni loġika tagħha, in partikolari kif b’mod prattiku l-impjant li jiġġenera l-elettriku bil-gass għandu impatt fuq l-attivitajiet l-oħra li presentement hemm fil-Port ta’ Marsaxlokk.
Vaccari per eżempju jikkonkludi dwar il-possibilita’ ta’ inċident li bħala riżultat tiegħu joħroġ kwantita’ kbira ta’ gass illi s-sħaba (ta’ gass) riżultanti takkumula fl-area quddiem il-Port Ħieles u preċiżament fl-area fejn jimmanuvraw il-vapuri qabel ma jidħlu jħottu t-tagħbija tal-containers. (pjanta annessa) Din biss kellha twassal għal konklużjoni li s-soluzzjoni proposta għall-impjant tal-enerġija li jaħdem bil-ġass maħżun fuq vapur hi theddida kbira għas-sigurta’ tal-operazzjoni tal-Port Ħieles.
Dan kollu kellu jwassal għal rakkomandazzjoni li l-ħatt u ħażna tal-gass fil-Port ta’ Marsaxlokk huma ta’ periklu kemm għar-residenti kif ukoll għall-ekonomija tal-pajjiż.
Pajjiżna għadu fil-ħin biex jimxi lejn soluzzjonijiet oħra. Lil hinn mill-piki politiċi l-unika soluzzjoni prattika hi dik ta’ pipeline li dwar l-Gvern kien sfortunatament irrifjuta offerta mill-Italja fl-1999.
Li hu żgur hu li ħajjet in-nies hi imprezzabbli. Aħjar uff inkella aħħ."