The international call for expressions of interest for the building of a new gas-firing power station at Delimara will be issued on April 11, Energy Minister Konrad Mizzi said this afternoon.

Speaking at Delimara, Dr Mizzi said the call would be made on leading industry journals and websites.

The government was planning to have a contract in place by the end of September, he said.

Dr Mizzi said his ministry had started preparatory work for the project, such as the identification of project teams.

The government, he said, was committed to transparency and would be issuing monthly project status updates on a dedicated website. A full project description statement would also be uploaded.  Dr Mizzi reaffirmed the government's commitment to reduce power tariffs as laid down in the Labour electoral programme.

He said that as promised in the programme, the new gas power station would be built and operated by the private sector and the energy would be sold to Enemalta in terms of a fixed price agreement.He said Enemalta would also be working on the conversion of the BWSC plant to use gas instead of heavy fuel oil. The corporation would also close the Marsa power station and then the first phase of Delimara power station by the end of this legislature.

In adjudicating the tenders for the new power station and the conversion of the BWSC plant, the government would also consider corporate social responsibility initiatives for the areas around Delimara which had suffered pollution, Dr Mizzi said.Dr Mizzi said the composition of the new Enemalta corporation would be announced shortly.