Malta has an established market for the bunkering of traditional fuels

Reference Number: PR190906, Press Release Issue Date: Apr 29, 2019

Minister for Energy and Water Management Joe Mizzi said that strategically located in the centre of the Mediterranean Sea along established maritime routes, Malta has an established and competitive market for the bunkering of traditional fuels and therefore it is only natural that Malta will endeavour to keep its present share of the bunkering market in the future.


“A shift towards alternative fuels, such as LNG, needs a clear policy direction to confirm the relevance of this sector and sustain its regional competitiveness,” he said. During his opening address at the 5th International LNG Congress which is being held in Malta, Minister explained that the Maltese islands have traditionally been dependent on heavy fuel oil for electricity generation, on fossil fuels for transport and on oil-based marine fuels for marine bunkering. 


He said that in a backdrop of increasing environmental sustainability and health awareness, as well as climate change pressures, Malta has recognised the importance of shifting from its traditional energy sources onto cleaner energy source solutions. Despite its resource limitations and its insularity, Malta has been gathering momentum for a shift towards less-polluting fuels.


“Indeed, in 2017, LNG was introduced in Malta for the scope of shifting the primary energy sources for electricity generation from liquid fuels to gas.  This was made possible thanks to a tailor-made solution which comprises of a floating storage vessel with a capacity of 125,000m3 and on-shore regasification plant which supplies gas to the adjacent power plant. The seamless switch from liquid fuels to gas has brought a number of benefits - increased plant efficiency through the substitution of old steam plant by more efficient gas-fired power generation plant, cheaper electricity tariffs, drastic reductions in emissions and improved air quality,” the Minister said.


It is clear that LNG as a marine fuel can help the industry address both air quality and greenhouse gas emission challenges. LNG development into a global commodity can also improve energy supply security by boosting the use of natural gas as fuel for transport.


“In this regard,” he added, “the Ministry under my responsibility is collaborating with Transport Malta to ensure that the right policies and regulatory framework are in place to enable Malta maintain its strategic positioning in the maritime sector. The Energy and Water Agency will have the opportunity to outline the ongoing work in this area.”