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BUNKER INDEX :: Price Index, News and Directory Information for the Marine Fuel Industry
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Gibraltar report 'did not address LNG bunkering'

Gas tank siting report should not be seen as prejudicial to the development of LNG bunkering in Gibraltar, says Lloyd's Register.

Updated on 26 Jun 2015 12:13 GMT

Classification services provider and consultancy, Lloyd's Register (LR), has commented on the Gibraltar report that it recently carried out, which has been cited by the British Overseas Territory's political parties and in the media.

In an article on its website this week, LR explained that the study examined the risks involved with proposals for two potential locations of liquefied natural gas (LNG) offloading and storage tanks: the North Mole Western Arm adjacent to the cruise terminal and the Detached Mole, to the South of the North Mole. However, "it did not address LNG bunkering".

LR commented that since being handed to its client, the report has appeared in the public domain and been cited in political exchanges in Gibraltar.

The consultancy said: "LR's conclusions were that both proposals, as defined, presented relatively high risks. With modifications to technical specifications it is likely that such risks could be reduced considerably; whilst there are obvious concerns related to siting gas storage tanks near to cruise ship berths, modifications to the technical requirements and repositioning of the tanks could see major risks entirely reduced. And opportunities exist to assess other options or locations.

"LR's findings into a very specific tank siting proposal should in no way be seen as prejudicial to the broader opportunities to reduce harmful air emissions, support LNG commercial activities or LNG bunkering in Gibraltar. Our findings relate to the risks associated with specific and defined siting proposals.

Commenting on the potential health benefits of developing an LNG bunkering infrastructure, LR said: "The overall health benefits of reductions in local air emissions that are hazardous to health are important ambitions. This wider issues of reducing the risks and managing safety of LNG infrastructure in Gibraltar and the benefits improved air quality was not considered and was not within the narrow scope of the evaluation of two specific tank sites."

LR pointed out also that "reports of this type, issued at a preliminary stage, will be conservative as detailed design parameters and intended operational parameters have yet to be defined".

Last week, Chief Minister Fabian Picardo of the Gibraltar Socialist Labour Party (GSLP) flagged up an announcement by cruise ship operator Carnival - that it is to build four liquefied natural gas(LNG)-powered cruise ships - as evidence of a shift in the maritime industry towards the use of LNG as a fuel.

Picardo's government is looking at the possibility of establishing LNG bunkering operations alongside infrastructure for a new power station powered by gas and diesel. However, the project has drawn criticism from the opposition, which has expressed concerns about the safety of establishing LNG operations so close to built-up areas.

Earlier this month, the Gibraltar Social Democrats (GSD) revealed the LR report, which was said to conclude that LNG operations in the North Mole and Detached Mole could pose "potentially intolerable risks". The government stated that the report was based on incomplete data about its proposals.

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