The ElectroGas consortium has responded to a massive data leak to The Daphne Project by disassociating itself from all aspects of Azerbaijan’s supply of LNG to the Delimara power station.
“In response to recent articles in the media, regarding the purchase of LNG to supply gas to the Delimara power plant, ElectroGas Malta would like to clarify its position as a service provider to Enemalta,” the consortium said in a statement. “All company activities have always been conducted with the utmost transparency, professionality and legitimacy. In addition, the activities of ElectroGas Malta do not include the trading of LNG – its sole business is the provision of safe and reliable gas-powered electricity to Enemalta.”
The Daphne Project yesterday confirmed it is investigating some 680,000 documents from ElectroGas that had been leaked to Daphne Caruana Galizia a few months before her assassination.
Energy experts questioned the logic behind the government’s deal with ElectroGas on the grounds that it is not purchasing LNG at source but through Azeri state-owned Socar. The Guardian has estimated that Socar is paying energy giant Shell around $113 million a year for LNG and then selling it to Electrogas for $153 million – pocketing a tidy $40 million profit 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.
Crashes in the global oil price since the deal was inked in 2015 means Enemalta is currently paying Electrogas twice the market rate for LNG.
Energy experts, including Simon Pirani and UK consultancy firm Poten, have said Maltese taxpayers would have stood to save tens of millions of euro had Electrogas purchased its LNG directly from Shell.
However, the government has insisted the deal is beneficial in the long-term as it is providing energy price stability in a volatile oil market, preventing it from having to go down the last PN administration’s route of adjusting electricity prices according to fluctuations in the Brent oil index.