By Nigar Abbasova
SOCAR trading, a marketing arm of Azerbaijan’s State Energy major (SOCAR) delivered Malta’s first ever cargo of liquefied natural gas (LNG) on January 10. The volume of the maiden supply, which was delivered aboard the Galea tanker, is over 14,000 cubic meters. The cargo size delivered is small, compared to Galea's 136,967 cubic meters capacity, and is expected to be used for commissioning of the new facilities.
The arrival of the first LNG cargo is part of the process of commissioning the Armada LNG Mediterrana and the new power station, built by ElectroGas (a three-way consortium of Germany's Siemens, SOCAR Trading and privately-owned Maltese joint venture GEM Holdings).
The floating storage unit (FSU), Armada LNG Mediterrana, arrived in Malta three months ago on October 10, 2016. The FSU will deliver LNG to the onshore regasification plant feeding natural gas to the 200 MW power station during the entire project life of 18 years. The project aims to decrease electricity prices, reduce environmental damage from energy production, and increase security of supply by diversifying the energy mix. The project will partly replace the existing electricity generation infrastructure in Malta.
Speaking at a press conference marking the arrival of the first LNG cargo, Maltese Minister Konrad Mizzi said the power station is expected to be operational in the next few weeks.He noted that the shift from oil to LNG will drastically reduce harmful pollution emissions and particles, and allow electricity bills to remain cheap.
Building on its expertise from a nearly completed project in Malta, SOCAR hopes to expand its LNG portfolio. In 2015, SOCAR Trading was granted Platt's Award of Excellence in the Strategic Deal of the Year category for its breakthrough Malta LNG project. Headquartered in Geneva, SOCAR Trading was incorporated in December 2007.
Nigar Abbasova is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @nigyar_abbasova
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