The Nationalist Party has called on the government to heed concerns expressed by a Dutch expert on the storage of gas close to the new Delimara power station.
The party said it was concerned about how the project was proceeding. The government had presented no reports on the viability of the generation units and there was a dearth of studies on the environmental impact, particularly the risks associated with the new plant. While studies had not been completed, and despite the risks which needed to be considered, the government had agreed with a consortium to build and operate the plant for 18 years.
The government should stop being politically partisan where people's health was at risk, and give serious consideration to the views expresses earlier this week by veteran Dutch expert Hans Pesman and engineer Arthur Ciantar, commissioned by Marsaxlokk local council, who had warned against storing a massive volume of LNG in a closed harbour, close to a power station, the PN said.
Prof Pesman had said it was not ideal to store 140,000 cubic metres of gas near the power station, a volume, the PN pointed out, which was far bigger than the 60,000 cubic metres which Labour had said it would store before the election.
Prof Pasman had argued that ideally there should be a gas pipeline from Sicily, or at least the gas storage tanker should be anchored outside the harbour.
The PN said that while there was consensus about using gas for power generation , the country should seek the safest cost effective solutions.
It urged the government to opt for offshore gas storage as indicated by the people of Marsaxlokk.