With the current debate raging on the awarding of a contract for the building of a power station extension at Delimara fired by heavy fuel oil, an issue seems to have been forgotten.
Heavy fuel oil is more polluting than diesel or gas and therefore requires the use of emission abatement (filtering) equipment for which there was no arrangement on the contract. The resulting flyash has to be exported after being collected, sealed and placed in containers.
At present the Delimara power station already partly uses heavy fuel oil to generate electricity but there is no filtering system being used to collect and remove the toxic ash from its present emissions. These are therefore ending up in the air that we are breathing . No wonder such a high incidence of respiratory diseases in our country.
Another point worth mentioning is what policy is going to be taken if in case the extension is carried out as on the contract , a fault develops in the toxic abatement equipment. The choice in such a situation is either we start getting electricity interruptions yet again or that (if the present policy remains) the flyash is discharged unabated into our surrounding air, obviously in much larger and toxic quantities. There are no details let alone contingency plans about this despite the award of the contract.