The Malta Independent 20 February 2019, Wednesday

Government welcomes Commission’s statement on power and gas project

Tuesday, 15 January 2019, 19:13 Last update: about 2 months ago

The Government has welcomed comments made by the European Commission on the Malta power and gas project, it said in a statement.

The Malta Independent on Sunday recently reported that the European Commission was unable to become involved in the National Audit Office's multiple findings that there was something amiss in the due diligence and procurement procedures related to the ElectroGas Delimara power station, saying that commenting on the NAO's recent damning findings would be "beyond its remit". It did, however, say that it "expects that Malta will follow up on the NAO report according to its own procedures." A Commission spokesperson had told The Malta Independent on Sunday that "it is not for the Commission to comment on the findings of the National Audit Office" as the findings are "beyond its remit". The spokesperson added, "Within its remit, the European Commission is not aware of any violation of EU law in the context of the construction and operation of the Delimara Power Plant."

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The Commission preferred to stick to matters that were within its remit, praising the project's wider scope and clearly not the more unsavoury aspects of the project dealt with by the NAO.

In a statement today, the Tourism Ministry said: "The comments made by the commission demonstrate that the aims for the project were delivered and resulted in reduced emissions and particulate matter, more affordable energy production, and the removal of old and polluting power plants, including Delimara 1 and the Marsa power station."

The ministry spoke of the 'salient points' made by the Commission as being:

 - "The project would allow Malta to move away from its dependency on heavy oils for electricity generation, reducing CO2 emissionsand air pollution and, therefore, of benefit to the Maltese citizens and climate as such."

- "The project links up several state-of-the-art technologies, such as gas to power and the conversion of oil-based power plant to LNG, and can thus serve as a model for future projects."

- "The project ties into the emerging global LNG market which plays a significant role in our diversification efforts. In 2017, Malta joined the list of European LNG importers."

- "The Delimara project is a welcomed addition to Malta's energy mix because it improves its energy security by diversifying energy sources."

The statement read:"On Malta's LNG and decarbonisation efforts, the European Commission mentioned that:

- "The European Commission continues to support Malta's efforts to move away from heavy oils towards more carbon-efficient electricity generation;"

- "LNG can play an important role in the fight against climate change. In 2016, the European Commission published the EU LNG and Storage Strategy in which it singled out projects to make our LNG infrastructure more connected and work closer with our international energy partners;"

- "Following the European Commission's 2050 strategy on climate neutrality presented a couple weeks ago, LNG can play a crucial role in the energy transition."

Minister for Tourism Konrad Mizzi said that such an endorsement from the European Commission demonstrates that Malta's energy roadmap and the newly introduced energy mix is the right strategy for Malta as an EU member state. "The new Delimara Power plant paved the way for Malta to have more affordable energy tarrifs for both residential and commercial consumers, a reduction of 90% in particulate matter, and 50% in emissions."

 

 


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