With the sanctions on Russian oil & gas, most European countries are having to reorganise their supply chains – particularly for LNG supplies.
However, any country with access to a coastline could switch to FSRUs moored on jetties or offshore and supplied with LNG from anywhere in the world. Gas has already been found in the Mediterranean offshore Israel, Egypt, Cyprus, Turkey, Greece, Libya & Morocco, so there is scope for local supplies as well.
EM&I – the international asset integrity management specialists – who have their HQ in Malta can foresee fleets of FSRUs, FLNGs, and LNG carriers, operating in the Mediterranean to cope with the demand – particularly as some countries such as Greece, have already offered to supply their landlocked European neighbours with LNG from FSRUs moored offshore Greece.
Other countries such as Germany have also offered to do the same for their landlocked Northern European neighbours, so it appears that the invasion of Ukraine has had the effect of encouraging the EU to work together more closely to rearrange their LNG supply chain as quickly as possible.
With fleets of FSRUs, FLNGs, and LNG carriers, operating in the Mediterranean, they will need to be serviced from somewhere with the right facilities such as Malta, which has a unique geographical position at the centre of the Mediterranean, deepwater port and shipyard, and a skilled English-speaking workforce. Malta already has an FSRU offshore supplying LNG so are familiar with this scenario.
With a stable, business orientated administration and superb travel and communication facilities, they are the obvious choice to become the ‘energy hub’ of the Mediterranean both for LNG supplies and renewables.
All of these reasons support EM&I’s strategy to expand their operations in Malta by creating a new Offshore Energy Technology Centre which will provide technical development, operations, and training support for their global operations with a special focus on Europe and Africa in both conventional and renewable energy from the sea.
This will create new jobs providing EM&I’s special ODIN, NoMan and ExPert robotic inspection repair and maintenance services.
EM&I have been based in Malta for over 6 years and have found it to be an excellent base for international operations and delighted with the assistance they have received from the Maltese authorities.
Image credit The Energy and Water Agency