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Gibraltar’s recent LNG bunkering achievement faces political backlash

05 Sep 2019

A recent liquefied natural gas (LNG) bunkering operation carried out within British Gibraltar Territorial Waters (BGTW) at Gibraltar is “unlicensed”, according to the Gibraltar Social Democrats (GSD).

A statement produced by the political group on Wednesday (4 September) said Gibraltar Minister Gilbert Licudi QC’s reason for allowing the operation, that ‘it was considered to be good for Gibraltar’ highlights: “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.”

“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,” said Trevor Hammond, GSD spokesman for the Environment.

“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 conduct such 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.”

Related: Gibraltar concludes LNG bunkering op to floating crane “Sleipnir”

Photo credit: Gibraltar Port Authority
Published: 5 September, 2019


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