Malta: One of Mediterranean's main bunkering stops (file image/pixabay)
Liquified natural gas (LNG) bunkering could become available on the Mediterranean island of Malta.
The practicalities of supplying LNG bunker fuel, which is considered by many to be a strong contender as an alternative marine fuel on environmental grounds, is being studied by by consultants Tractabel, according to local website lovinmalta.com.
A gas pipeline running between Malta and Sicily is in the offing and would form the basis of LNG bunkering.
"If there is a demand for bunkering, then natural gas imported through the pipeline could be liquefied and used to bunker ships, but of course not at the cost of power generation," Daniel Azzopardi, CEO of the Energy and Water Agency in charge of the pipeline, was quoted as saying.
The pipeline will connect Delimara in Malta to Gela in Sicily.
Malta, along with Gibraltar, Piraeus and Istanbul, is one of the main bunkering stations in the Mediterranean.