The Malta Independent 17 December 2018, Monday

Panama Papers: Konrad Mizzi says there is no relationship between him and Cheng Chen

Kevin Schembri Orland Saturday, 21 May 2016, 10:32 Last update: about 4 years ago

Minister Konrad Mizzi has said that there is no relationship between him and Mr Cheng Chen, a man who is an employee of Accenture who acted as consultants for Shanghai Electric Power and were part of a large team working on behalf of Shanghai Electric Power.

Mr Cheng Chen has a British Virgin Islands company called Torbridge Services Inc, while Minister Konrad Mizzi has a Panama company called Hearnville inc.

Journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia broke the story regarding Cheng Chen's  work for SEP on Thursday.

Asked about Mr Chen’s work in relation to the Enemalta – Shanghai Electric Power deal, Minister Mizzi said: “Mr Chen C heng has had no relationship whatsoever with either Enemalta or Government on the Enemalta-Shanghai Electric Power deal. The individual you are referring to is an employee of Accenture. Accenture acted as consultants for Shanghai Electric Power and were part of a large team working on behalf of Shanghai Electric Power”.

(Konrad Mizzi with Cheng Chen at the signing of the Shanghai Electric deal).

Minister Mizzi also said, in response to questions sent by this newsroom, that there is no connection between Mr Chen’s BVI company, and his (Mizzi’s) Panama company.

According to articles on the Accenture website, Accenture helped Shanghai Electric Power (SEP) in its initial expansion into the European energy market, which included investments in the power-generating market in Malta. The article dated July 13 2015 read – “In its strategic consulting role, Accenture will now help SEP with post-merger integration in Malta and with international branding”. 
“Accenture Strategy provided advisory services to support SEP in its acquisition of a 33 percent stake in Enemalta PLC, Malta’s state-owned energy company, and of a 90 percent stake in Delimara 3,a major power plant in Malta”.  
 
“With the support of Accenture Strategy’s professional services in the strategic investment process, we have completed our first European power-generation investment,” SEP Chairman Wang Yundan said.

The article adds that Minister Konrad Mizzi said, “Accenture has been actively supporting Malta’s energy-transformation ambition by leveraging its extensive global network and deep industry experience to meet our national demand for energy services, renewables, foreign investment and innovation. In our close collaboration with SEP and Accenture, we are better positioned to shape a smarter and more sustainable energy future in Malta.”

 This newsroom also sent questions to Accenture, asking for information relating to their work in the Enemalta deal – to which they directed us to the aforementioned article - asking whether they were aware of Cheng Chen’s BVI company, whether they are investigating and the amount they were paid for their work with SEP. None of these questions were answered. The only response received was the following: “Unfortunately, we are unable to provide assistance with your research.  In order to deliver the highest standards of service to our clients, we must focus our resources to deliver against our outstanding commitments.  Please visit  ww.Accenture.com  where you may find published materials on your topic of interest. We do, however, appreciate your interest in our organization and wish you good luck.”  

According to the Panama Papers, Cheng Chen’s company, Torbridge was set up on 29 May 2013.

Nexia BT acted as intermediaries for Torbridge Services inc.

Nexia BT is at the centre of a web of controversy, after having set up companies in the BVI and Panama for a number of PEPs and local big wigs.

The Malta Independent is an official partner of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists and the German newspaper Suddeutsche Zeitung and gained full access to the entire set of Panama Papers.

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