The Malta Independent 22 August 2019, Thursday

Profit margins for petrol station owners to be increased - GRTU

Jeremy Micallef Wednesday, 30 January 2019, 08:56 Last update: about 8 months ago

Petrol stations’ profit margins are to be increased as per the agreement reached last Saturday between the GRTU and the government, GRTU CEO Abigail Mamo told this newspaper.

Following a week-long strike by the petrol stations, the agreement revolved around the increasing of the profit margins, Mamo explained, although the mechanism has yet to be decided on.

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The workings of the mechanism to be implemented are up to the government.

On Saturday, GRTU said it had had a positive meeting with Energy Minister Joe Mizzi. Earlier in the week, it had lifted directives as a sign of goodwill.

The directives had been put in place after discussions with the government, over a request to fund the modernization of fuel stations – in order to be in line with an EU directive – had failed.

80 out of 90 fuel stations need to modernize, with a total cost of around €21 million.

GRTU said on Saturday that an agreement had been reached and that consumers would not be affected.

The chamber said it had emphasized that the time left should be used wisely so that the directive would be observed in the stipulated timeframe. 

In 2014, the GRTU presented the government with a detailed study on a restructuring programme that needed to be in place by 2020. To get in line with an EU directive, the study showed that all the equipment of 80 out of the 90 petrol stations in Malta and Gozo would need to be changed. This includes the petrol pumps, piping and the underground storage tanks.

The study noted that a total of €21 million was needed to complete all the necessary petrol pump upgrades needed to get in line with the EU directive.

In a statement on Wednesday, the government said the Malta Resources Authority had, in 2011 allowed fuel station owners to set higher profit margins on condition that they would pay for the investment required to be carried out by 2020.

Questions on the subject have been sent to the Energy Ministry.

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