LNG carrier

Europe’s scramble to reorganise its energy supply chains in response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine could have a knock-on impact on Malta’s role in the continent’s energy provision if it capitalises on its familiarity with LNG, with one company already making plans to expand its operations in the company to meet future demand, according to a trade publication.

Oilfield Technology reports that EM&I, a leading company providing services to the oil, gas and renewable energy industries, has decided to create 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 is anticipated to create new jobs providing EM&I’s special ODIN, NoMan and ExPert robotic inspection repair and maintenance services.

The move comes after the European Union made clear its ambition to wean itself off Russian oil and gas, leading to a conundrum on how the continent will find fuel for its energy needs.

One of the frontrunners in energy sources is Liquified Natural Gas (LNG), which can be stored on Floating Storage and Regasification Units (FSRU) moored off any country with a coastline, and supplied with LNG from anywhere in the world.

The publication reports that EM&I, which specialises in international asset integrity management and has its 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, in another example of Europe’s unity in the face of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s aggression.

“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 workforce. Malta already has an FSRU offshore supplying LNG so are familiar with this scenario.

Oilfield Technology describes Malta as having a “stable, business orientated administration and superb travel and communication facilities”, saying it is “the obvious choice to become the ‘energy hub’ of the Mediterranean”.

It further notes that EM&I has been based in Malta for over six years, finding it to be an excellent base for international operations and being “delighted” with the assistance received from the Maltese authorities.

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