PN leadership hopeful Bernard Grech will take the Electrogas deal to court as one of his first orders of business should he be elected, laying down a gauntlet against the controversial deal.
Speaking on social media, Grech said that the “people should be freed from the excessive burden of a deal which stemmed from corruption”.
He said that the Electrogas deal was meant to be a major project of former Prime Minister Joseph Muscat’s administration. Instead, it has become a monument of shame and corruption.
Grech’s statement came after Gasan Group, a key shareholder in the deal, announced it would be seeking an exit strategy from the deal.
The ElectroGas consortium was selected to build and operate the LNG power station in Delimara back in October 2013, with a deal eventually signed in April 2015 and the project inaugurated two years later.
One of the Labour Party’s main pledges ahead of the 2013 general election, the power station was sold to the public as a way of producing clean energy and improving electricity generation efficiency, allowing the government to significantly slash tariffs.
However, the deal itself has raised eyebrows for several years, especially after the Daphne Project revealed in 2018 that ElectroGas was using one of its partners, Socar, as a middleman, when purchasing LNG, instead of purchasing directly at source.
The Guardian estimated that Socar is paying Shell around $113 million a year for LNG and then selling it to Electrogas for $153 million – pocketing a tidy $40 million in the process. Electrogas then sells the LNG to Enemalta for the same price of $153 million and the gas is then converted into electricity and distributed around Malta.
Energy experts have questioned the logic behind this agreement, arguing that Maltese taxpayers would have stood to save tens of millions of euro had Enemalta agreed to purchase LNG directly from Shell.
Caruana Galizia’s son Matthew recently said that his mother could have been killed to stop her writing about a trove of ElectroGas documents that were leaked to her.
He said this leak, along with the eventual news that Yorgen Fenech owns the Dubai company 17 Black, could have resulted in ElectroGas defaulting on government-guaranteed loans worth €600 million, which would have triggered a major economic crisis.
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