This year marks the 10th anniversary of Liquigas Malta. During these years, this Italo-Maltese joint venture has led efforts to encourage the use of clean liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) in Malta.
The milestones of the first 10 years of Liquigas’s presence in Malta were highlighted by the company’s chairman Louis Farrugia and chief executive officer Roberto Capelluto during an event presided by Energy Minister Joe Mizzi. Present also were the company’s board of directors, Paul Agius Delicata who is the CEO of Gasco Energy Ltd which operates a fully automated LPG bottling and storage facility at Bengħajsa, the management, the employees, and several authorities.
Capelluto also welcomed the Ambassador of Italy Mario Sammartino, the Ambassador of the Netherlands Frank Keurhorst and Andrea Arzà, managing director of Liquigas Italy, board member of Liquigas Malta and also chairman of the Italian LPG Association – Assogasliquidi.
Minister Mizzi said the government is proud that notwithstanding the turbulent international energy scenario, the price of LPG in Malta remained stable for the last two years. He said that the total LPG market has maintained a healthy presence and in fact increased from 22,000 tons in 2013 to over 25,000 tons in 2018.
“As a market leader in Malta, I am sure that your commitment to increase the use of LPG will contribute to a more environmentally-friendly fuel and more cost-efficient system,” Minister Mizzi said.
Following the entry of Malta into the European Union, the privatisation and liberalisation process of the LPG market began in 2006. In 2008, the international tender was won by the joint venture between Liquigas SpA and Multigas Ltd, with the transfer of the commercial and operational activities from Enemalta to Liquigas Malta and Gasco Energy Ltd.
Using the experience of both Liquigas SpA, the largest operator in Italy, and SHV Energy – a Dutch company which is a world leader in LPG – Liquigas Malta has given a new and private impetus to the sector by offering alternative and innovative services with various opportunities for home distribution, industrial supply and transport fuel alternative more suited to the demands of an evolving market.
Over the years, the company introduced the direct cylinder distribution with new online ordering and home delivery service, the opening of fixed points of sales at supermarkets and shops, and autogas as an environmental and economic alternative for Maltese motorists.
Farrugia, as chairman of both Liquigas Malta and Gasco Energy, said: “In the first 10 years of its trading as a joint venture partner with Liquigas Italy, our enterprise succeeded in transforming the business of supplying LPG products to the Maltese market from one of a State monopoly status to an entity that is very conscious that the customer has a choice and deserves our total respect. We have done this by building respect and trust with all stakeholders, suppliers, partners, workforce, customers and the authorities.”
He referred to this Italo-Maltese venture as a good example of how two neighbour countries with such close and historically important bilateral relations and, as members of the European Union, have benefitted through such cooperation.
Farrugia highlighted the good understanding that exists with the Ministry for Energy and Water Management on the direction the industry should take, the regulatory standards that need to be achieved, and thanked Minister Mizzi for his intervention whenever it is called for.
While noting that both investment partners, Liquigas and Multigas, share common values in their operating standards and hence the total synergy in the decision-making process, he concluded by thanking Arzà of Liquigas SpA, for his immense contribution, both management teams and workforces led by Capelluto and Agius Delicata for their commitment and sheer determination to achieve the companies’ goals.
Capelluto said: “Liquigas Malta has brought to this country a new wave of commercial, distributive and technical innovation. Environmental issues and related sustainability are also key points of our corporate philosophy. Beyond the reduction of pollution through the use of LPG for industrial purposes, the CO2 savings coming from autogas are estimated today at around 500 tons per year together with the considerable reduction in the toxic substances called particulate matter and nitrogen oxide resulting inhealth benefits for all citizens.”
Conscious of the environment-friendly LPG possibilities, Liquigas Malta has been proposing specific offers to industries, hotels, and other fuel consuming entities to convert their systems from heavy fuels to operate on LPG, while small networks with a metering system were constructed.
Agius Delicata highlighted the fact that Gasco Energy’s storage tanks have a 4,800 tons capacity which is more than double what Enemalta had at Qajjenza. This offers security of supply to Liquigas customers even in peak winter months. “Furthermore,” said Agius Delicata, “Liquigas cylinders are regularly tested at the testing plant. The plant tests and paints Liquigas cylinders in the distinctive green colour for ease of recognition by our customers. Each tested cylinder is then certified by TUV as on a daily basis its representatives are on site to witness the test and issue the certification.”
Finally, Capelluto thanked all those who participated and cooperated in the company’s growth and success from the company’s stakeholders for their loyalty, the authorities for their collaboration, to the external partners who assisted Liquigas Malta along its path of integration in the Maltese society.
He also expressed special thanks to Michael Mallia who participated and supported the company with his extensive experience in the challenging first steps of its inception.