Watch: PN calls for inquiry into Electrogas deal

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

The Nationalist Party (PN) is calling for an Inquiry Board to be appointed to look into the Electrogas deal. Leader Bernard Grech presented the motion flanked by opposition speakers Ryan Callus, Karol Aquilina and Robert Cutajar.

This motion being brought forward by the PN outlines a number of reasons for such an inquiry:

  • Ex-Prime Minister (PM) Joseph Muscat visited Azerbaijan along with his Chief of Staff Keith Schembri and Spokesperson for the Government Kurt Farrugia, during which a secret deal was signed. This deal outlined that Enemalta p.l.c is bound to purchase €131,600,000 worth of LNG gas yearly from Electrogas Malta Limited. On its end, Electrogas purchases the gas from SOCAR (State Oil Company of the Azerbaijan Republic), who in turn purchases the gas from the manufacturer;
  • The ex-Director of the Electrogas project, Yorgen Fenech, is also allegedly involved in the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia. Furthermore, he is the owner of 17Black, a company that was fuelling money into secret companies Hearnville and Tillgate which belong to ex-Minister Konrad Mizzi and ex-Chief of Staff Keith Schembri;
  • The person leading the evaluation during the 4th stage of adjudication regarding the offer presented by Electrogas Malta Limited was the Managing Partner of Nexia BT. Nexia BT is the auditor for GEM Holdings Limited, which has shares in Electrogas;
  • The Government provided a garauntee for €360,000,000, 80% of the €450,000,000 lent to Electrogas. The night before the ġeneral election on 3rd June 2017, the same Government secretly extended the garauntee. The Attorney General (AG) and the Permanent Secretary within the Ministry for Finance and Financial Services stated that such a garauntee is high risk and should not have been given;
  • The deal for Enemalta to purchase LNG gas from Electrogas is costing millions of euros;
  • Electricity generated by the Electrogas power station costs on average €50.64 more than electricity available via the interconnector between Malta and Sicily;
  • Enemalta bound itself to purchase 85% of the generated energy and of the gas from Electrogas, irrespective of the actual daily demand for electricity;
  • Enemalta paid more than €10,000,000 in its purchase from Electrogas, a price much higher than that for energy available via the interconnector;
  • The Permanent Secretary within the Ministry for Finance and Financial Services testified that Enemalta ended up taking on €40,000,000 in taxes that were meant to be handled by Electrogas. This happened due to a direct intervention instigated by ex-Minister Konrad Mizzi, an intervention that goes against the agreement between Enemalta and Electrogas;
  • Enemalta secretly allowed Electrogas a deferring of payment of 18 years to pay €18,000,000 in fines for the delays in building the Electrogas power station, This was approved by the Maltese Government, at the time led by ex-PM Joseph Muscat;
  • The Cabinet gave Konrad Mizzi authorisation to sign the deals in relation to Electrogas, despite him not being the appointed Minister to do so;
  • Gasan Enterprises Limited has decided to withdraw from the Electrogas powerstation project by selling the shares it has in GEM Holdings Limited to third parties;
  • The Government is still refusing to publish all related documents, including correspondence and contracts;
  • There is reasonable suspicion that the Electrogas project was planned out between the Labour Party and individuals and companies that have direct or indirect relations with Electrogas Malta Limited, prior to the general election in 2013. This is because of the number of identical or near identical points in the electoral poposal prior to the election, and the proposal later implimented by Enemalta;
  • There have been weekly discoveries of corruption and abuses of power conducted by people trusted with the Electrogas project;
  • It is within public interest for the full truth to come out about the project;
  • No analysis was conducted about the most cost-effective decision between Enemalta operating the commissioned powerstation, or the decision that was made where the powerstation is operated by Electrogas, with higher costs.

Therefore, the PN is proposing that due to the reasons above, an inquiry board is appointed in order to examine all processes in relation to the Electrogas project, to identify any abuses within these processes, to identify all persons involved and to provide recommendations.

The Board must be composed of people known for their integrity, where one must serve as Chairman. The persons must be approved by no less than 2/3 of members of the house of representatives. The inquiry should be public, but the Board is allowed to identify when its necessary to conduct proceedings privately, or in a way that limits full publication, The Board ought to be allowed all necessary means and resources to conduct its work, and then present its report to the Speaker at the House of Representatives. The Board is allowed to omit any information from the report if it is required.