A floating gas storage unit in Marsaxlokk harbour would not jeopardise residents’ safety, Energy Minister Konrad Mizzi has insisted, saying studies were ongoing and the authorities would ultimately be making an informed decision.

Dr Mizzi was reacting to a statement by environment NGO Din l-Art Ħelwa earlier this week. It said that a gas storage tanker would pose a threat to the power station, Freeport, maritime traffic and the lives and health of residents.

Physicist and environmentalist Edward Mallia had suggested setting up a storage and re-gasification unit out at sea.  Enemalta maintains that mooring a vessel out at sea, instead of within the busy port, could jeopardise the stability of regular gas supply.

Dr Mallia agreed that the supply of gas would be more secure when in port but that supply could still be managed to take account of rough weather if the tanker was a few kilometres out at sea.

Dr Mizzi said the government was carrying out a study to submit a proposal for Malta to establish a link to the European gas grid.

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