The government must immediately intervene to stop two Russian tankers – containing enough liquid gas to supply the UK for up to 12 days – from docking in Kent at the weekend, a union said this afternoon.
The Boris Vilkitsky and Fedor Litke are bound for Grain LNG with plans to unload on Sunday, according to UNISON, which represents around 200 workers at the Isle of Grain importation terminal owned by National Grid.
Grain LNG is the largest terminal in Europe for importing liquefied natural gas (LNG). It is situated on a 600-acre site on the Isle of Grain near Rochester in Kent.
The tankers are on their way despite a law passed yesterday banning ships with any Russian connection from all UK ports.
A loophole has left open the possibility that the Boris Vilkitsky and Fedor Litke could still dock and unload their cargo.
The union calls on transport secretary Grant Shapps to confirm that the ban applies to these two vessels, and that both will be prohibited from berthing at the Thames Estuary site, which is 30km from London.
Staff working at Grain LNG are angry that they might be asked to unload the ships’ cargoes, the union claimed, saying “they fear losing their jobs if they refuse once the Boris Vilkitsky and the Fedor Litke have anchored off the Isle of Grain,” according to a statement sent to City A.M.
UNISON head of energy Matt Lay said: “The law passed speedily yesterday should have made the Boris Vilkitsky and Fedor Litke turn back. But both vessels still seem to be very much Kent-bound.”
“Grant Shapps must send these two ships packing. He needs to make it clear that all Russian ships are banned from every UK port and terminal,” he added.
By City AM
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