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05 January 2018

Malta's FSU: A case of buyer's remorse?

Malta became the first new country to import LNG in 2017 when the 125,887 cm Armada LNG Mediterrana, a floating storage unit (FSU) that forms part of the LNG-to-power Delimara project in Marsaxlokk, received its maiden cargo on 11 January. By the end of 2017, Malta had imported 0.26 mt.

Importing LNG has helped Malta move away from using heavy fuel oil (HFO) in power generation, on which it relied for decades. The FSU is leased to Electrogas – the company that operates Delimara – for 18 years.

With gas-fired power complemented by electricity imports from Italy and renewables, Malta’s gas demand is unlikely to see major growth in the foreseeable future. Why then is the Maltese government keen to have a gas pipeline linking it to Sicily in place by the mid-2020s – a decade before the FSU’s lease expires?

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