The Malta Independent 4 December 2020, Friday

Electrogas decisions should be seen in the context of the time they were taken, Energy Minister says

Shona Berger Wednesday, 18 November 2020, 17:43 Last update: about 15 days ago

Although certain things could have been handled differently in the power station project, “one needs to take into consideration the context at that time and why the certain decisions were taken,” he said during parliament on Wednesday.

He added that people must stop continuously looking to the past.

Minister Farrugia was replying to a parliamentary question put forward by Nationalist MP Hermann Schiavone, who asked about the government’s decision to forgive €40 million in tax to Electrogas on the power station, while delaying an €18 million penalty for not completing the project, paid over 18 years.

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In reply, Farrugia reiterated and said that one had to take into the consideration the situation the decisions were taken. “The most important thing at the time was to ensure that Malta had security of supply.”

“The incident with the interconnector which happened at the end of last year shows the importance of security of supply.”

Minister Farrugia remarked that matters regarding the power station are still being investigated and will continue to be.

He added that “today, we have an environmentally clean power station and charging tariffs for electricity are the second cheapest in the Eurozone and the fourth cheapest among member states.”

Nationalist PM David Agius posed other questions to Minister Farrugia regarding the interconnector and whether the government is considering building a second interconnector.

Farrugia said that in order to have another interconnector, you need to have security of supply. The issue with this process is whether Italy had excess supply which it could sell, and how much it costs, he said. The sale price very much depends on the demand.

He added that the government has considered developing power links directly to Greece or France, however, the Energy Minister explained that the sea was very deep in some areas, thus one would not have the possibility of burying the interconnector, and risk causing damage.

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