The Malta Independent 24 April 2019, Wednesday

Gasol plays down Malta exit as a case of ‘mission complete’

Sunday, 26 July 2015, 10:00 Last update: about 5 years ago

In a statement, in the wake of the not-so-shocking announcement of its departure from the Electrogas consortium, the financially beleaguered Gasol, previously one of the consortium’s two main shareholders, has put the move down to a case of ‘mission completed’.

On Friday, Electrogas announced that Gasol Plc – which formed part of the new Delimara power station building consortium – will not form part of a new and improved company structure.

The company announced that its new structure will result in three partners with equal shareholding (33.333 per cent) in ElectroGas Malta: Siemens Financial Services, Socar Trading SA and Gem Holdings Ltd. Siemens will serve as a lead member. Gasol previously held a 30 per cent stake in the company, the same as GEM Holdings, while Siemens and Socar held 20 per cent each.

In a follow-up statement, Gasol confirmed that it has sold and transferred its interests in the ElectroGas Malta LNG project to the other founding ElectroGas shareholders, and is consequently exiting the project after “the successful completion of objectives that are compatible with its customary development-stage role and focus in its non-African activities”.

In Malta, the company said that it has “realised in a European location a demonstrable application of its pioneering leadership strategy to establish an innovative LNG import-to-power generation ‘project model’.

“Following two years of intensive team work on the Malta project, Gasol has capably achieved its important goal of structuring the contractual and interface arrangements for the project, such that the new 215 MW power plant and the LNG import terminal can be built simultaneously.”

Ironically, the company said that “the contractual package ensured that the project has been able to raise sufficient financing to cover its construction costs”, despite the fact that the government had to step in to offer an €88 million state guarantee.

Gasol added: “The project, which has already been under construction for more than six months, is progressing well,” indicating that work had not been started on the power station as early as the government had previously stated.

Gasol COO Alan Buxton commented, “We have enjoyed working closely with the other sponsors of the ElectroGas Project and we are confident that the project is moving ahead with a firm foundation and a secure future. We believe that the remaining shareholders, two major corporates together with a local strategic investor, are in a good position to take the project to its next stage, the construction phase, and that Gasol is better served by redeploying its capital and human resources to the more comprehensive and fully integrated development of projects in its historically traditional, geographical focus on the Western and Central African region. We wish everyone involved in the project continued success.”

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