One of the evaluators for the gas-fired power station project bid won by the Electrogas consortium helped Labour draw up its energy plans prior to the March 2013 general election.
David Galea, a close associate of former Energy Minister Konrad Mizzi, told parliament’s public accounts watchdog on Wednesday that he had been asked to draw up some energy proposals for Labour around November 2012.
Galea said he had given an opinion about the energy proposals “like many others”.
The public accounts committee is discussing a 2018 evaluation of the power station process by the National Audit Office, which found multiple instances of non-compliance with minimum requirements to win the bid.
Weeks after Labour swept to power, Galea was appointed as the programme director for the new power station project.
He would go on to sit on one of the adjudication committees that judged the bid put in by Electrogas to be the best choice for Enemalta.
Suspicions have long been raised that a pre-election deal had been struck between Labour and the Electrogas investors, chief among whom was its former director Yorgen Fenech.
Fenech has since been revealed to be a close friend of former OPM chief of staff Keith Schembri, and shared Whatsapp chats with former Prime Minister Joseph Muscat even after he became a suspect in the murder of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia.
Galea said it was Konrad Mizzi who approached him about contributing to Labour’s pre-election energy ideas.
He argued that a vision about switching to gas had already been mentioned in 2012 by the Nationalist government.
Questioned by PN MP Ryan Callus about the timeframe for the project, Galea said the power station was urgently needed to help stem Enemalta’s operational losses.
Reading out from Enemalta minutes dated May 2013, Callus noted how technical experts said an onshore solution for storing the LNG was a better option, but the timeframe for delivering the new plant were an issue in this regard.
Asked why Enemalta had gone against the European Commission’s guidelines for LNG to be stored onshore, Galea rebutted that this was just the Commission’s preference, and was not obligatory.
At the end of the meeting, Opposition MPs presented a list of 85 witnesses to be summoned in future hearings and asked for sessions to be held more frequently.
Contacted by Times of Malta, Callus said the witness list included Joseph Muscat, Keith Schembri, Konrad Mizzi, former police commissioner Lawrence Cutajar and murder suspect Yorgen Fenech.
Prior to Galea’s testimony, the Auditor General told the committee that if Enemalta were to default on the Electrogas contracts, government would have to pay €417 million in outstanding loans owed by Electrogas.