IN order to ensure that Gibraltar is able to offer residents cleanly produced, safe and reliable electricity, it embarked some time ago on the production of a gas-fired power plant which will eventually replace the existing and ageing facility which is prone to problems.
This new plant does of course require a supply of liquefied natural gas (LNG) and the Gibraltar government announced on August 22 that it has entered into an agreement with Shell for a 100 per cent subsidiary, Gasnor to produce a small regasification unit that will receive, store and re-gasify the LNG arriving by ship.
The LNG which will be supplied by Gasnor will be stored before being warmed up to its original gaseous state and then piped to the power plant. The unit will also include a berth for a small LNG carrier that will supply the LNG at night, minimising disruption to the neighbouring port, airport and housing estates.
Following the signing of the contract on August 19, the Chief Minister said “My government is delighted with this major step forward in the provision of LNG, the best option for an environmentally-friendly and safe solution for guaranteed power generation. Shell, a world leader in this field has been our preferred bidder for a long time and we are confident that their plans conform to standard, best in-class practices in project development.”
“This important project is one for Gibraltar to be proud of and which I am very pleased to see now starting construction. This is a massive advance also in respect of guaranteeing the integrity and security of electrical supply for Gibraltar for the next 30 years which is hugely important for our modern tech industries, for all our businesses and for every residential consumer also.”
“This excellent project will sit alongside our continued commitment to the introduction of other sources of renewable energy. A proud day indeed for Her Majesty’s Government of Gibraltar and for the people of Gibraltar.”
Following the recent approval of a robust Environmental Impact Assessment report, construction of the regasification unit is planned to start towards the end of 2016 with commissioning and first delivery of LNG expected to take place ahead of the start-up of the power plant, expected during the second half of 2017.