Further Concerns over LNG Bunkering and Safety
The GSD is deeply concerned over the announcement by Minister Gilbert Licudi QC about the unlicensed LNG bunkering that took place in the Bay. The reason he gave, ‘that it was considered to be good for Gibraltar’ simply highlights that the Government is willing to allow commercial expedience to trump safety and the law, a step toward Government without regard for the Rule of Law.
The relevant law only allows exemptions in ‘exceptional circumstances’: that an activity may be considered ‘good for Gibraltar’ by the Minister can hardly be considered to meet this test.
Trevor Hammond, GSD spokesman for the Environment said “It is very worrying that an apparent shortcut has been taken to circumvent normal safety requirements in an operation as full of risk as LNG bunkering. While the Minister was at pains to explain that Shell were still in the process of obtaining their LNG bunkering licence, the only such licence that has currently been applied for and that this would be issued ‘if everything is in order’, Titan were permitted to conduct a massive LNG bunkering operation on the world’s largest offshore crane, the Sleipnir.
“It is necessary to ask how it was determined that a company that has not even applied for a licence for LNG bunkering in Gibraltar was able to demonstrate that it could safely conductsuch an operation? How was this assessed and what risks were identified? The truth is more likely to be found in the comment by the Minister that the operation was deemed to be good for Gibraltar, the inference from which is that safety and the law played second fiddle to commercial expediency, something that the GSD has been deeply concerned about throughout the development of the LNG industry in Gibraltar”.