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Submitted by Falkland Islands News Network (Juanita Brock) 24.08.2013 (Article Archived on 21.09.2013)

Part 2 Debate about Temporary Jetty


2 Debate about Temporary Jetty


By J. Brock


A public
meeting was held in the Court and Assembly Chamber of the town Hall at 1700hrs
on Monday, 19 August 2013.  Present were
MLAs Edwards, Sawle, Hansen (Chair), Halford and Short.  The debate over the temporary jetty in
Stanley Harbour continued.


Tim Miller
wanted some assurance that there would be a temporary jetty in place until the
proposed deep water port was built.  He
was sure this would be longer than 3 years. 
Dick Sawle said that people were very clear they did not want an extended
use of a temporary facility in Stanley harbour beyond the allotted 3 years.  There are places where a temporary port could
be built until the permanent one at Port William was available.  Details are up to the companies to work out
and for MLAs to receive as proposals. 
The criteria published related specifically to Stanley Harbour.  There is nothing to stop those companies from
building those facilities elsewhere.  Mr
Sawle went on to say it would be wrong for FIG to build and pay for a Deep
Water Port without the option of private investment.


Mr Miller
brought up the huge investment to the east of Stanley and he lamented the
absence of a permanent port where that investment could not be used to its full
potential.  He claimed that 24/7
operations of a port did not bother him at all as he lived near FIPASS.


Ian Hansen
reminded Mr Miller that it would not be up to this Assembly to approve the
temporary facility.  He envisaged a
flexible time frame for these matters. 
It is not known even if there is any oil under the seabed but we needed
a starting point.


Spink said it was useful from the point of view of companies providing services
to the oil companies to have time scales set out so they know how long they can
plan to get the return on investments made. 
He thought the political steer given by MLAs is quite useful.  The oil companies had complained they hadnít
had that political steer and it was useful to have the time scales.


Dick Sawle
added that when the oil companies were met in London they were grateful for the
clear steer FIG gave them.  Executive
Council clarified that and put it in black and white.  In London the oil companies were clear about
what would be acceptable and unacceptable Ė likewise for FIG.  Mr Sawle went on to say that if something
lasted longer than 3 years it began to feel quite permanent and no longer
temporary.  It then becomes quite
difficult to move.  Some of the vague
plans discussed at the meeting seemed to be permanent and this was not what was
wanted or required and detracted from the business case for the Deep Water Port
in Port William.  A competing port means
that Port William would never get built. 
FIG gave a clear steer so oil companies knew where they stood.


Mr Sawle
took Mr Millerís point about people who had invested a lot of money to the east
of Stanley but when that investment was made the investors knew there was a
strong possibility that a location excluding Stanley harbour might be
chosen.  Business decisions should be
made on what is known at the time.  With
hind sight everyone wishes they hadnít been quick to invest in that
location.  FIGís job is to look after the
interests of the Falkland Islands for the next 50 or 100 years and looking
after the short-term progress of companies was not what they were elected to


Mr Miller
assumed that east of Stanley was a good place for the lay-down area and he felt
the Port might be put closer to that location. 
However, the investment still would pay off providing the access roads
were in the right place.  Dick Sawle said
that the reason he couldnít build a new cold store at FIPASS was that he didnít
know where the new Deep Water Port would be. 
Until there is a firm location businesses cannot plan or make
investments.  Improvements to FIPASS were
not feasible as eventually it would not cope with the heavy equipment needed
for the oil industry.  Currently a report
from the oil companies states that it would not meet their health and safety
requirements.  As a result Port William
was chosen for the Deep Water Port.  Mr
Sawle went on to say there is a website that contains the check list of things
needed to prepare for the oil industry and a link to it will be published in
Fridayís Penguin news.  It is updated
regularly.  He added there was a vast
number of other related things to be done that were listed on the website.


Spink said the development behind FIPASS was initially put in place in response
to a one or two year exploration phase that Desire Petroleum were putting
out.  They put a tender out for people to
provide facilities for that one or two year exploration phase and this is where
the initial development started.


Edwards said that the company that was approved by EXCO are perfectly content
with that three years because they are in an exploration phase.  Hopefully noble Energy will find lots of oil
which they would exploit.  They would
come back in due course and look for a more permanent port which will be
provided.  However, we are still waiting
for facts and figures for Port William. 
He felt that perhaps we should look longer than 3 years because it is
not known if we can afford building the port in Port William and it is not
known what infrastructure is needed.  He
went on to say that Port William may not be a cut and dried answer.  At the moment, even bringing oil to the
surface is not certain.  He believes we should
legislate, facilitate and assist in exploration and exploitation of
hydrocarbons.  He said it must be within
certain parameters. 


Dick Sawle
agreed, saying that it was prudent to wisely spend money on the oil
developments.  This was why oil revenues
were ring-fenced.  The work on Port
William is on-going at the moment and the business case will be ready in
November.  Without oil development there
would be no business case for Port William. 
He said things were moving ahead but cautiously.


Roger Edwards
said that part of the negotiations for the temporary port will cover why the
company would need the facility for more than 3 years. And what is going to
happen when they are finished.  He hopes
that FIG has the where-with-all to negotiate and come up with the best


Ging Davis
wanted clarification about health and safety. 
Dick Sawle said the oil companies worked to very strict health and
safety guidelines including the types of equipment used.  There are strict guidelines on FIPASS.  Mr Sawle was referring to the physical
structure.  The weights the oil companies
would be using at FIPASS would be too heavy for the structure.  It is perfectly safe for FIPASSí current use.


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