ESG says LNG quayside bunkering must be tightly controlled
The ESG on Friday underlined the need to ensure environmental safety processes are in place for any quayside LNG bunkering operation.
It was commenting after the previous Minister for the Port, Vijay Daryanani, announced recently on Facebook Gibraltar’s “first ever” LNG bunkering operation for a cruise ship when Silver Nova called into the port.
In the past the group has been vocal over its concerns of the potential for growth of LNG activity at the port side from the LNG storage facility and said it sought information from the authorities on this announcement.
“The group was provided with safety assessment reports commissioned by the Port produced some years ago for such transactions and licensing, as well as a separate detailed report for this specific vessel and date,” the ESG said in a statement.
“It appears that a barge supplied the fuel but this needs further clarification.”
“While it’s clear that safety assessments were carried out this new step has not been processed before DPC, or, to our knowledge, had cross-departmental oversight.”
The ESG’s Janet Howitt told the Chronicle international shipping standards and regulations apply to the safety of operations at sea and in the port.
“But of course, once you bring this to land, to quayside, then it will have environmental impacts that have to be assessed and ordinarily environmental impact assessments are carried out when you apply to do something on land,” she said.
One way of establishing an environmental impact assessment and its impact on the environment and public safety is to bring it before the Development and Planning Commission.
Ms Howitt added that “some other way has to be found to make available that sort of assessment and publication of the information”, adding that the ESG wants to ensure that this is being surveyed and assessed to the “highest standards”.
“Industrial activities do not operate in a bubble and require all impacts concerning public health and the environment to be closely studied with the public informed,” the ESG added.
“The ESG understands that LNG reduces pollution and believes it has a role to play on the path towards fully renewable and sustainable shipping fuels.”
“The group strongly urges Government to review this new activity and ensure that full provision of information for intended LNG transactions of this nature go through public process and due protocols before any further transactions are carried out.”