Birżebbuġa : waħda wara l-oħra

Il-Qajjenza.San Lucjan

 

Il-ħruġ taż-żjut mit-terminal ta’ San Luċjan fil-baħar nhar l-Erbgħa wara nofsinnhar wassal biex għal-darba oħra ġie pprojibit l-għawm f’Birżebbuġa, din id-darba l-Qajjenza viċin fejn sa ftit ilu kellna l-impjant tal-gass.

Din mhiex l-ewwel darba. Xahar ilu kellna l-inċident fil-Port Ħieles fejn inċident ieħor kien wassal biex likwidu f’container jispiċċa l-baħar. Il-Bajja s-Sabiħa kienet damet ġranet magħluqa għall-għawm.

Kull darba li jkollna dawn l-inċidenti jbatu bosta.

L-ewwel ibatu r-residenti ta’ Birżebbuġa li jkunu mċaħħda minn rikrejazzjoni mistħoqqa. Ibatu magħhom dawk li jkunu Birżebbuġa villeġġatura. Ibatu ukoll bosta residenti mid-diversi lokalitajiet fin-nofsinnhar tal-pajjiż li f’Birżebbuġa isibu post fejn jistgħu jqattgħu ftit ħin ta’ mistrieħ.

Ibatu ukoll dawk li l-għixien tagħhom jiddependi mill-baħar inkella mill-ħwienet diversi mxerrdin ma’ Birżebbuġa.

Dawn l-inċidenti għandhom impatt fuq dawn kollha.

F’dan l-istadju ħadd għadu ma jaf eżatt x’ikkawża l-inċident u jiena mhux ser noqgħod nispekula x’setgħet kienet il-kawża. Il-fatti imma huma magħrufa minn kulħadd. Iktar ma jgħaddi żmien iktar qed tiżdied l-attività industrijali fil-Port ta’ Marsaxlokk. Din l-attività nisslet kritika mhux żgħira tul is-snin, mumenti li għixniehom flimkien, xi drabi ukoll b’opinjonijiet li jikkuntrastaw.

Illum qegħdin f’mument fejn l-attività industrijali li kienet proposta fl-interess ta’ ħidma ekonomika mixtieqa biex tnissel il-ġid qed tagħtina ukoll l-impatti negattivi tagħha. Kulħadd jippreferi kieku l-impatti negattivi ma jiġu qatt. Għalhekk għandna naħdmu.

Jekk bħala pajjiż m’aħniex ser jirnexxielna nassiguraw kontrolli stretti biżżejjed biex dawn l-impatti negattivi jkunu mill-inqas possibli ser ikollna iktar problemi. Wisq nibża’ li bħala riżultat taż-żieda tal-attività industrijali mhux il-bogħod li t-tgawdija tal-baħar f’Birżebbuġa tkun biss attivita’ tal-passat li tista’ issir biss mir-ritratti.

Forsi huwa ukoll il-mument li nifhmu li dawn huma l-konsegwenzi ta’ nuqqas ta’ ħarsien ambjentali adegwat kif ukoll ta’ konċentrazzjoni esagerata ta’ ħidma industrijali fil-Port ta’ Marsaxlokk.

Issa min irid jibqa’ b’rasu fir-ramel affari tiegħu.

ippubblikat fuq iNews il-Gimgħa 24 ta’ Lulju 2015

The Freeport’s neighbours at Birżebbuġa

freeport.aerial viw

 

 

Two incidents occurred at the Freeport Terminal last week. The first led to the spill of an oily-like chemical when a container was accidentally hit and part of its contents spilled out into the sea. The second concerned odours resulting from the handling of fuels at the Oil Tanking Terminal.  The second accident led to the precautionary hospitalisation of six employees. The first incident, on the other hand, led to the suspension of bathing activities at Pretty Bay, Birżebbuġa for a number of days.

The accident leading to the spill occurred on Monday, 8 June at around noon. Yet on Friday, 12 June, personnel from the Civil Protection Department were still dealing with the spill as by this time water currents had moved it from the Freeport Terminal to Pretty Bay. It was only late on Tuesday, 16 June that the Environmental Health Department certified that Pretty Bay was once more fit for swimming.

 

Unfortunately, such accidents are bound to happen. That they do not happen more often is only due to adequate training and the availability of the adequately maintained equipment available on  site.

The Freeport Terminal extension – approved five years ago by MEPA and currently in hand – is intended to tap into the container movement market in the Mediterranean even further. In the coming years, this will lead to a increased activity and, consequently, the likelihood of similar but more frequent accidents happening in the future is possible.

The Freeport Terminal activity is only one of a number which, over the years, have transformed Marsaxlokk Bay into an industrial port. Delimara Power station and fish- farming  as well as the ever-present fuel reception points at the San Luċjan and Enemalta stations are other examples of industrial activity along the Marsaxlokk Bay coastline. We should also remember that, at some time in the near future, bathers at Pretty Bay will also have an enhanced landscape: they will be able to enjoy in full view a gas storage tanker permanently anchored just opposite the sandy beach, along the Delimara part of the Marsaxlokk Bay coastline. The spectacle will include its refuelling between eight and 12 times a year, with possibly three of such refuelling instances occurring during the summer bathing season.

The compatibility of this situation with the EU Seveso Directives is debatable.

All this industrial activity may be healthy when considering the general economic requirements of the country on its own. It is, however, generally incompatible with the needs of Birżebbuġa both as a residential community as well as a touristic venue.

Efforts to mitigate the impacts of this industrial activity on the residential community  of Birżebbuġa (and to an extent even on the locality of Marsaxlokk) are in place. Yet with so much going on, the effects of these mitigation measures are necessarily limited. In fact, one wonders why the decision to locate all this industrial activity in the area was not also accompanied by a decision to restrict the development of land for residential use so close to these industrial facilities. In one particular case, at il-Qajjenza in the 1980s,  residential development was accelerated in the vicinity of the then Enemalta Gas Depot. Fortunately the Gas Depot has now been closed down and decommissioned, however it has been moved to the other side of Birżebbuġa, close to the entrance of Marsaxlokk Bay at Bengħajsa.

 

The Freeport Terminal management, supported by MEPA, had also decided to extend the permissible facilities at the Freeport Terminal to include minor repair work to ships and oil rigs. The decision was only reversed when it was faced with the vociferous opposition of the Birżebbuġa residential community led by its local council.

Recently, Transport Malta has added to the summer pleasures at Birżebbuġa. It has planned a mooring area for pleasure craft and small boats adjacent to the swimming zone, right in the middle of Pretty Bay. It seems that Transport Malta does not give a fig about the impact of anti-fouling agents used on a large number of craft berthed very close to a swimming zone.

 

With all this activity going on around Pretty Bay, it is inevitable that that there will be an increase in unacceptable environmental impacts on land, air and sea. Some accidents will also be inevitable.

As a result, however, it is very possible that in future there will be further restrictions on the use of Pretty Bay as a bathing venue. One hopes that this will not be often. It is, however, unavoidable and is the direct result of the ongoing activity which is definitely incompatible with the needs and requirements of the Birżebbuġa residents.

One interesting development at the time of writing is that Hon. Marlene Farrugia, as Chairperson of Parliament’s Committee on the Environment and Development Planning, has placed last week’s incidents at the Freeport Terminal on the Parliamentary Committee’s agenda. For the time being, a request for information has been sent out. The resulting discussion will hopefully direct the spotlight on the manner in which successive governments have transformed Marsaxlokk Bay into an industrial port, in the process at times ignoring – and at other times not giving sufficient attention to the plight of the residents in the area.

published in The Malta Independent on Sunday, 21 June 2015

L-għawm fil-Bajja s-Sabiħa ta’ Birżebbuġa

pretty-bay

 

Il-ġimgħa l-oħra kellna żewġ inċidenti fil-Freeport.

L-ewwel inċident seħħ it-Tnejn 8 ta’ Ġunju meta ntlaqat container li nfaqa’ u parti mill-kontenut likwidu tiegħu spiċċa l-baħar. Sal-Ġimgħa 12 ta’ Ġunju, tard fil-għaxja, l-ħaddiema tad-Dipartiment tal-Protezzjoni Ċivili kienu għadhom sejrin bil-ħidma ta’ tindif. Sadanittant il-Bajja s-Sabiħa baqgħet magħluqa sakemm it-testijiet tal-kwalità tal-ilma baħar li qed isiru mid-Dipartiment tas-Saħħa Ambjentali jagħtu riżultati tajbin, ċjoe li jista’ jsir l-għawm.

Sadanittant kellna inċident ieħor u s-Sibt waranofsinnhar sitt ħaddiema tal-Freeport iddaħħlu l-isptar bħala prewkazzjoni minħabba rwejjaħ ta’ gass li x’aktarx ikkawżaw uġiegħ ta’ ras u dardir.

Fortunatament ftit li xejn kellna inċidenti ta’ din ix-xorta, u dan  minħabba li kemm il-management kif ukoll il–ħaddiema tal-Freeport jaħdmu sewwa u bil-galbu. It-taħriġ kontinwu li jingħata lill-ħaddiema kollha tal-Freeport, kif ukoll l-apparat addattat li jintuża jgħinu biex inaqqsu l-possibilità ta’ inċidenti. Imma huwa inevitabbli li iktar ma jiżdied ix-xogħol fil-Freeport [u bl-estensjoni tal-Freeport, ix-xogħol ser jiżdied] tiżdied ukoll il-probabiltà ta’ iktar inċidenti.

Ma dan trid iżżid ukoll il-ħidma bil-gass tal-Power Station ta’ Delimara. Faċċata tal-Bajja s-Sabiħa suppost li jkollna tanker permanenti fil-Bajja ta’ Marsaxlokk biex fih jinħażen il-gass. Bejn tmien u tnax-il darba fis-sena jidħol ukoll tanker ieħor biex iġib iktar provisti ta’ gass.

Jiġifieri fil-bajja l-problemi ser jiżdiedu mhux ser jonqsu.   Ma noħodiex bi kbira li l-ġranet li fihom ma jkunx possibli li jsir l-għawm fil-Bajja s-Sabiħa ukoll ser jiżdiedu. L-inċidenti tal-ġimgħa l-oħra huma indikazzjoni ta’ x’hemm lest għalina.

Dan hu l-prezz ta’ dak li uħud isejħulu progress jew żvilupp. Huwa l-prova ta’ kemm kellhom raġun dawk kollha li opponew l-estensjoni tal- Freeport.

Iċ-Ċiklun ta’ nhar il-ġimgħa, u l-Power Station ta’ Delimara

cyclone 071114

Iċ-ċiklun ta’ nhar il-ġimgħa ma kienx xi ħaġa li naraw ta’ spiss. Kienet okkazjoni oħra fejn in-natura għal darba oħra wriet il-qilla tagħha. Kaxkret dak kollu li sabet quddiema.

Rajna diversi siġar imqaċċtin. Baħar imqalleb. Ħsarat f’bosta lokalitajiet fis-sistema tad-distribuzzjoni tal-elettriku. Xita qliel li f’xi lokalitajiet laħħqet mal-50 mm fi ftit ħin.

Fil-Port Ħieles din id-darba ma kien hemm l-ebda rapport li xi vapur inqala’ minn mal-moll. Min- naħa l-oħra taħt l-effett tar-rih numru ta’ containers waqgħu minn posthom.

Wara l-maltempata tal-Ħadd 5 t’Ottubru 2014 din kienet it-tieni maltempata qalila fi kważi xahar. Donnu li anke f’Malta dak li għat-temp kien xi ħaġa rari, issa ser isir komuni. Il-maltemp, x-xita intensiva, u r-riħ qawwi, flimkien ħolqu problemi kbar. Jekk ma nieħdux ħsieb jistgħu joħolqu problemi ikbar.

Din iż-żieda fil-frekwenza tal-maltemp ser jibqa’ magħna u dan bħala konsegwenza tal-bdil fil-klima li qed taċċellera ruħha. Dan jitfa iktar dawl dwar kemm l-istudju biex ikejjel ir-riskju marittmu fil-Bajja ta’ Marsaxlokk fuq l-elementi diversi tal-Power Station tal-gass proġettata f’Delimara hu meħtieġ. Mhux biss. Huwa importanti ukoll li meta jsir nagħtu kasu.

Il-gass għal Delimara: bil-vapur jew bil-pipeline?

laying the pipeline

 

X’ifisser id-dewmien fil-proġett tal-Gvern biex il-produzzjoni tal-elettriku taqbleb għall-gass?

Qed jissemmew ħafna raġunijiet. Fosthom il-qagħda finanzjarja tal-kumpanija Gasol plc, l-kumpanija barranija ewlenija li tifforma parti mill-Electrogas Malta Consortium inkarigat mill-proċess. L-Electrogas Malta Consortium huwa magħmul misSiemens Project Ventures GMBH (20%), SOCAR Trading SA (20%), Gasol plc (30%) u GEM Holdings Ltd (30%).

Qed jissemma ukoll li hemm kunflitt bejn l-obbligi li daħal għalihom il-Gvern ma dan il-Consortium u s-Shanghai Electric Power.

Minn diversi indikazzjonijiet jidher li l-Gvern ta’ Joseph Muscat beda juri interess partikolari fil-pipeline tal-gass minn Sqallija. Fil-fatt ilu ftit ma jissemma t-tanker tal-gass, kemm ġewwa l-port kif ukoll barra mill-port. Xi zmien ilu kienu qalulna li qed isir l-studju marittimu konness mal-proġett. S’issa ma nafx jekk hux konkluż, inkella jekk dan waqafx meta beda jidher ċar li l-problemi konnessi mal-wasla tal-gass bil-vapuri huma enormi.

Jekk dan hu l-każ ikun ifisser li qed isir il-progress u li d-diskussjoni pubblika qed tħalli l-frott, avolja wara ħafna żmien. Ikun għaqli kieku l-Gvern ikollu l-kuraġġ li jagħti l-informazzjoni vera ta’ x’qiegħed jiġri. Għax jekk il-Gvern ta’ Joseph Muscat hu kapaċi jirrealizza li kien żbaljat dwar it-tanker tal-gass fil-Port ta’ Marsaxlokk tkun rebħet ir-raġuni.

Igawdi l-pajjiż kollu u jitnaqqas drastikament il-periklu għall-komunitajiet ta’ Marsaxlokk u Birżebbuġa.

Mhux dgħjufija li tagħraf li kont żbaljat.

 

Ħtieġa ta’ kalma u attenzjoni

 Gas Cloud Freeport Fairway

Madwar il-Bajja ta’ Marsaxlokk diġa hemm attivita’ diversa li hi ta’ riskju.

Matul din l-aħħar sena għadu kif għalaq l-impjant tal-gass tal-Enemalta fil-Qajjenza. Impjant li kien imdawwar b’residenzi għal snin twal. L-impjant ingħalaq u sar wieħed ġdid f’Bengħajsa u dan wara snin kbar ta’ ilmenti.

Ġo nofs Birżebbuġa hemm l-impjant tal-fuel tal-Enemalta. Ilu hemm snin kbar. Imdawwar bir-residenzi. L-Enemalta ilha s-snin tħabbel rasha biex tagħlaq dan l-impjant. Imma s’issa għadu hemm qalb in-nies.

Hemm ukoll il-ħażna tal-fuel f’San Luċjan bejn Birżebbuġa u Marsaxlokk w il-ħażna taż-żjut fil-kumpless tal-Freeport, l-Oil Tanking.

Dawn ir-riskji diġa qegħdin hawn u dan flimkien mal-ħażna tal-fuel (HFO u gasoil) presentement użat mill-Enemalta f’Delimara.

L-istudji li diġa saru dwar l-impjant tal-gass f’Delimara jinkludu studju minn Roberto Vaccari li għalkemm huwa studju preliminari diġa juri numru ta’ diffikultajiet u riskji ġodda li l-ħażna tal-gass tista’ toħloq. Riskji li meta tieħu in konsiderazzjoni r-riskji li diġa hawn fil-Bajja ta’ Marsaxlokk ikomplu jagħmlu is-sitwazzjoni agħar milli diġa hi.

Huma riskji li pajjiżi oħra sabu tarf tagħhom billi madwar is-sors ta’ riskji joħolqu żona li fiha l-aċċess ikun wieħed limitat u ikkontrollat. Il-ħolqien ta’ żona bħal din issolvi l-problema: ma teliminax ir-riskju imma tnaqqas sostanzjalment l-impatt tiegħu.

Id-diffikulta f’Delimara hi li l-ispazju li hemm hu limitat u ma jidhirx li hu possibli li tinħoloq din iż-żona b’aċċess  limitat u kkontrollat. Għalhekk il-proposta tal-ħażna tal-gass hi waħda problematika.

Li l-Gvern jgħid illi ser jagħmel iktar studji biex jipprova jsib tarf tal-problema hu pass tajjeb.  Irridu nħarsu iktar fil-fond mhux biss lejn l-impjant propost f’Delimara, imma ukoll lejn l-impatt fuq is-sajjieda, fuq il-komunitajiet ta’ Marsaxlokk u Birżebbuga kif ukoll fuq il-Port Ħieles.

Ir-riskju li jkun hemm inċident hu wieħed żgħir u rari. Imma l-konsegwenzi jekk iseħħ l-inċident ikunu kbar ħafna. Għalhekk jeħtieg li nimxu b’kalma u b’attenzjoni kbira.

ippubblikat fuq iNews : it-Tlieta 25 ta’ Frar 2014

Better safe than sorry

Delimara floating gas stirage terminal

Its been twelve months since Alternattiva Demokratika – The Green Party pointed out that safety and risk assessment will be the sticking point for the liquid natural gas (LNG) driven power station at Delimara. We were then told  that Labour’s plan had already factored in all issues pertaining to the Seveso Directive.

Well, plans have been changed. What were originally plans to have land based LNG storage facilities have been changed to a floating gas storage facility. The issue of safety has however remained. It was unaddressed then and is still not addressed now.

Other countries have taken the matter quite seriously. In Livorno, for example,  as a result of proper risk assessment studies a floating gas storage facility of a size comparable to that being considered for Delimara was sited 22.5 kilometres from the coastline. In addition a security area of an 8 kilometre radius was established. This security area which is under strict control to ensure that no unauthorised access occurs serves the purpose of reducing and containing the damage caused by a possible incident.

published in The Times of Malta, Saturday February 22, 2014

No such security areas have been established in the Delimara proposal such that whilst the probability of an incident has been identified as 1 in 10,000 years its impacts on the residential community as well on economic facilities could be devastating if such an accident occurs.

A thorough reading of the risk assessment study carried out by Roberto Vaccari and forming part of the Environment Impact Assessment for the Delimara LNG driven power station clearly identifies serious risks. Whilst Vaccari defines his study as being of a preliminary nature his conclusions, however, are clear enough pointers that the apprehension of 91% of the local population documented in the Delimara project Social Impact Assessment is more than justified.

Roberto Vaccari, for example, concludes on the possibility of an incident as a result of which a cloud of gas accumulates in the area in front of the Freeport Terminal, the fairway,  precisely where ships manoeuvre prior to their berthing to unload their shipment of containers. Just this possibility, on its own, should have been sufficient to lead to the conclusion that the proposed solution for the generation of electricity through the use of gas stored on a ship is a serious threat to the secure operation of the Freeport Terminal.

Roberto Vaccari justifiably points out that Marsaxlokk Bay, very close to the residential communities of Birżebbuġa and Marsaxlokk,  already harbours most of the Maltese sites subject to Major Hazard Regulatory control under the provisions if the EU Seveso Directive. The Delimara Power Station itself, the Birżebbuġa fuel storage depot, Oil Tanking facilities, the Wied Dalam installation, the Mediterranean Offshore Bunkering and the San Lucian facilities as well as the recent addition of the Gasco facilities at Bengħajsa are too close for comfort. Roberto Vaccari points out to the domino effect potential which could be triggered on each of these sites by an LNG incident at Delimara.

The mooring of the floating gas storage unit along the Delimara coast also gives rise to a serious conflict with existing uses in Marsaxlokk Bay. It conflicts with the operational requirements of the Freeport Terminal situated at the entrance to the Bay. The conflicts are of a navigational nature as the area currently utilised by container vessels to manoeuvre until they berth, the fairway, overlaps with the navigational requirements of the floating gas storage unit in particular during refuelling. It is known that container vessels at the Freeport Terminal do require tugboat assistance particularly when strong North-Easterly winds are prevalent. The navigational requirements in such circumstances for an increased activity require much more space (and tugboats) than is available in Marsaxlokk Bay. As far as is known this has not yet been considered.

Both the authorities as well as the EIA have also been particularly silent on the impacts which the floating gas storage unit will have on the fishing community in Marsaxlokk. It is unofficially known that plans are in hand to severely curtail all maritime movements within Marsaxlokk Bay during refuelling of the floating gas storage unit. The refuelling process which may take up to 48 hours  ten times annually will be a severe handicap not just on the operations of the Freeport Terminal but it may also deal a fatal blow to the livelihood of the fishing community at Marsaxlokk.

All of the above should have led to the conclusion that the unloading and storage of LNG at Marsaxlokk Port is an unnecessary source of danger to both residents and the country’s economy.

Malta is still in time to seriously explore other options. Ignoring political pique the only practical solution is to utilise a gas pipeline which a PN led Government had unfortunately refused when offered by Italy in 1999.

What is sure is that safety is priceless. It is better to be safe than sorry.

Aħjar uff inkella aħħ

Gas Cloud Freeport Fairway

Bħal daż-żmien sena, waqt il-kampanja elettorali, Alternattiva Demokratika kienet ċara ħafna dwar il-proposta tal-Partit Laburista li jgħaddi biex jipproduċi l-elettriku bl-użu tal-gass. Għidna li l-kwalita’ tal-arja ser titjieb sostanzjalment kif ukoll li tista’ traħħas il-kontijiet tal-elettriku u l-ilma.

Imma għidna ukoll anke tnax-il xahar ilu illi ma kienx ċar x’kien qed jiġi propost dwar ir-riskji li l-ħażna ta’ kwantita’ kbira ta’ gass daqshekk qrib kemm tal-power station innifisha kif ukoll viċin l-abitat u viċin ħafna ta’ operazzjonijiet marittimi.

Alternattiva Demokratika rat l-istudju dwar l-impatti ambjentali (EIA) u in partikolari l-istudju ta’ Roberto Vaccari dwar l-analiżi tar-riskji  liema studju jifforma parti integrali mill-imsemmi EIA.

L-istudju dwar ir-riskji huwa inkonklużiv minħabba illi fil-waqt li jagħmel analiżi ma jwassalx din l-analiżi għal konklużjoni loġika tagħha, in partikolari kif b’mod prattiku l-impjant li jiġġenera l-elettriku bil-gass għandu impatt fuq l-attivitajiet l-oħra li presentement hemm fil-Port ta’ Marsaxlokk.

Vaccari per eżempju jikkonkludi dwar il-possibilita’ ta’ inċident li bħala riżultat tiegħu joħroġ kwantita’ kbira ta’ gass illi s-sħaba (ta’ gass) riżultanti  takkumula fl-area quddiem il-Port Ħieles u preċiżament fil-fairway, l-area fejn jimmanuvraw il-vapuri qabel ma jidħlu jħottu t-tagħbija tal-containers. (ara pjanta hawn fuq) Din biss kellha twassal għal konklużjoni li s-soluzzjoni proposta għall-impjant tal-enerġija li jaħdem bil-ġass  maħżun fuq vapur hi theddida kbira għas-sigurta’ tal-operazzjoni tal-Port Ħieles.

Pajjiżi oħra joħolqu żona ta’ sigurta madwar l-impjant b’mod illi jiżolaw il-possibilita’ ta’ periklu u ma jħalluħx jinfirex. B’hekk inaqqsu l-impatt fuq il-ħajja tan-nies u fuq il-propjeta’ u jimminimizzaw il-ħsara ekonomika li tista’ tirriżulta. Hekk għamel per eżempju l-Gvern Reġjonali tat-Toscana barra l-Port ta’ Livorno meta stabilixxa żona ta’ sigurta f’distanza ta’ tmien kilometri madwar il-ħażna tal-gass fuq vapur li ġie ankrat 22.5 kilomteri l-barra mill-kosta.

Bl-iskuża li r-rapport tal-analiżi tar-riskju hu wieħed preliminari r-rapport ta’ Vaccari ma jagħmel xejn minn dan. Filwaqt li jsemmi l-possibilita ta’ impatt fuq stallazzjonijiet oħra fil-port ta’ Marsaxlokk (domino effect) la Vaccari u l-anqas l-EIA ma janalizzax kif  dan jista’ jseħħ.

Filwaqt li hu magħruf illi l-movimenti maritiimi fil-Port ta’ Marsaxlokk ikollhom jonqsu drastikament, inkluż il-movimenti mis-sajjieda l-EIA hu sieket dwar dan.

Dan kollu kellu jwassal  għal rakkomandazzjoni li s-soluzzjoni tal-ħatt u ħażna tal-gass fil-Port ta’ Marsaxlokk huma ta’ periklu kemm għar-residenti kif ukoll għall-ekonomija tal-pajjiż.

Pajjiżna għadu fil-ħin biex jimxi lejn soluzzjonijiet oħra. Lil hinn mill-piki politiċi l-unika soluzzjoni prattika hi dik ta’ pipeline li dwaru l-Gvern kien sfortunatament irrifjuta offerta mill-Italja fl-1999.

Li hu żgur hu li ħajjet in-nies hi imprezzabbli.

Aħjar uff inkella aħħ.

Bomba tal-ħin f’Delimara

bomb
Il-proposta ta’ Power Station f’Delimara li taħdem bil-gass flok bil-Heavy Fuel Oil ser twassal għal titjib fil-kwalita’ tal-arja f’Marsaxlokk, Birżebbuga u l-inħawi tal-madwar. Imma huwa ukoll ċar li l-preokkupazzjoni tar-residenti kif espressa fl-istudju dwar l-impatti soċjali għadha m’hiex qed tiġi indirizzata b’mod adegwat. L-istudju dwar ir-riskji mill-gass maħzun fil-Bajja ta’ Marsaxlokk m’huwiex wieħed konvinċenti.

Huwa neċessarju, anzi huwa essenzjali, li l-ħażna tal-gass għall-użu tal-Power Station tinħareg il-barra mill-Bajja ta’ Marsaxlokk.

Alternattiva Demokratika hi konxja li s-soluzzjonijiet tekniċi neċessarji jirrikjedu kemm iż-żmien kif ukoll spejjeż addizzjonali sostanzjali. Huwa importanti għaldaqstant li titwarrab l-għaġġla żejda biex ikunu jistgħu jsiru dawk l-istudji addizzjonali li huma neċessarji biex ma jibqa’ l-ebda dubju li r-riskji kollha li għalihom il-komunitajiet ta’ Marsaxlokk u Birżebbuġa ġew esposti jkunu indirizzati b’mod sodisfaċenti.

Alternattiva Demokratika hi konsistenti. Dan il-kliem qalitu diversi drabi, anke waqt il-kampanja elettorali tal-elezzjoni ta’ Marzu 2013 wara li l-Partit Laburista ħareġ bil-proposti tiegħu li, dakinnhar, kienu nieqsa minn informazzjoni essenzjali.

Is-saħħa u is-sigurta tar-residenti ta’ Marsaxlokk u Birżebbuga għandhom jiġu qabel kull konsiderazzjoni oħra.

Il-kunsens nazzjonali dwar il-ħtieġa tal-użu tal-gass fil-ġenerazzjoni tal-elettriku għandu jitwettaq f’rispett sħiħ lejn ir-residenti. Jekk dan ma jsirx jista’ jwassal biex fil-Bajja ta’ Marsaxlokk tkun istallata bomba tal-ħin.

Il-gass għal Delimara: nħarsu s-saħħa u s-sigurta tar-residenti

Delimara.gas terminal

Il-ħidma biex il-ġenerazzjoni tal-elettriku ma tibqax bl-użu ta’ żejt li jħammeġ (Heavy Fuel Oil) iżda bil-gass, minn dejjem kienet appoġġjata minn-Alternattiva Demokratika.

Kwalita’ aħjar tal-arja u traħħis fil-kontijiet tad-dawl u l-ilma huma l-konsegwenzi diretti ta’ dan il-pass.

F’dawn il-ġranet għaddejja d-diskussjoni dwar l-istudju fuq l-impatt ambjentali ta’ dan il-proġett. Hemm qbil ġenerali fuq ħafna mill-kontenut ta’ dan l-istudju.

Mill-istudju dwar l-impatt soċjali tal-power station bil-gass iżda, toħroġ b’mod ċar il-preokkupazzjoni tar-residenti ta’ Marsaxlokk għall-ħażna tal-ġass fuq opra tal-baħar speċjalizzata (floating gas storage facility). Huwa stmat li 91% tar-residenti ta’ Marsaxlokk ma jaqblux li l-gass għall-użu tal-power station jinħażen ġol-Bajja ta’ Marsaxlokk.

L-istudju ippreżentat dwar ir-riskju li l-ħażna tal-gass fil-Bajja ta’ Marsaxlokk, biswit il-power station u faċċata r-raħal ta’ Marsaxlokk, ma jikkonvinċi lil ħadd. In-nies m’hiex konvinta illi r-riskju għal saħħithom, għal ħajjithom u għall-propjeta’ tagħhom hu wieħed minimu. Mhux konvinti li r-riskju hu wieħed minimu. Mhux konvinti li r-riskju hu aċċettabbli.

Kien għalhekk f’waqtu dak li qal il-koordinatur tal-EIA li ser isir studju iktar approfondit tar-riskji involuti. Huwa tajjeb li ser isir dan l-istudju addizzjonali imma hu meħtieġ ukoll illi ma jittieħdux deċiżjonijiet mgħaġġla  qabel ma jkun konkluż dan l-istudju.  Għax sakemm ma jkunx konkluż studju konvinċenti, l-anqas temporanjament m’hu aċċettabbli li l-ħażna tal-gass għall-użu tal-power station tkun ġol-Bajja ta’ M’Xlokk.

Waqt il-konsultazzjoni pubblika ta’ nhar it-Tnejn intqal illi l-Enemalta m’għandiex flus għal soluzzjonijiet oħra, li jiswew ferm iktar kif ukoll li jieħdu iktar żmien biex jitwettqu.

Il-ħarsien tas-saħħa u l-ħajja tar-residenti ta’ M’Xlokk u Birżebbuġa kif ukoll is-sigurta’ tagħhom u ta’ ħwejjiġhom huma importanti iktar minn kollox, inkluz mill-flus li jkun meħtieġ illi jintefqu għall-proġett. Nittama biss li qabel ma jittieħdu d-deċiżjonijiet ikollna f’idejna l-studju li jgħarbel sewwa r-riskji u dan biex ħadd ma jibqagħlu iktar dubji.

Alternattiva Demokratika ilha żmien tgħid li din hi d-diffikulta unika u reali tal-proġett tal-Power Station f’Delimara li jaħdem bil-gass. Is-saħħa u s-sigurta’ tar-residenti jiġu qabel kollox.

ippubblikata fuq iNews l-Erbgħa 29 ta’ Jannar 2014