Updated, Adds government, PN statements - Gasol has been dropped from the consortium that is to build the new gas power station at Delimara.
ElectroGas said in a statement that it is "consolidating" its company structure.
This will result in three partners having equal shareholding, namely Siemens Financial Services, Socar Tradiing and GEM Holdings, with Siemens as the lead member.
"The rearrangement of existing partners within the consortium is being done to maintain the long-term stability of the project company which will supply energy and natural gas in accordance with its commitment to Enemalta and stakeholders," the consortium said.
It made no mention as to why Gasol has been dropped, other than to thank it and its executives for their 'dedication and contribution'.
Gasol had been the lead partner in the consortium.
On July 12, Times of Malta had reported that questions were being raised over its financial strength.
Data emerging from Gasol’s latest financial statements showed that the company, recently de-listed from the London Stock Exchange, could have problems raising cash for its ongoing projects.
The government recently authorised an unprecedented €88 million State guarantee to cover ElectroGas’s exposure to a €101 million loan from Bank of Valletta.
In a reaction to the Gasol statement, the Eergy Ministry said it welcomed the increased commitment demonstrated by Siemens, Socar and GEM to the Malta Gas and Power project
"Government welcomes positively the consolidation of the Electrogas Malta Consortium and the ongoing and now increased commitment shown by Siemens, Socar Trading SA and Gem holdings LTD.
"As part of this consolidation, these three companies have increased their shareholding in Electrogas Malta and have demonstrated their commitment to the project. All three partners will have equal shareholding in Electrogas Malta with Siemens as the Lead Member.
"The increase in shareholding by two world-class corporations and a leading Maltese holding company shows the importance these companies attribute to the project," the ministry said.
It added that the project commitments remain unchanged and the momentum is being sustained in the development phase.
The implementation of this major investment, it said, would not only result in economic benefits as outlined by credit rating agencies but also in significant environmental benefits and the reduction of emissions.
PN - WE TOLD YOU SO
The Nationalist Party said the Gasol statement showed how this project was a farce and the government was proving the Opposition right, nine months on.
The party recalled that the government had already failed on its electoral promise to deliver the new power station within two years, which expired in March.
Now the project had lost the most important company in the consortium that was meant to build it.
This showed how right the Opposition had been to question the viability of the project.
The fact that Gasol was now out of the project raised serious questions on whether the public procurement process remained valid. It also showed that the due diligence process which the government had done was amateurish.
Today's announcement also showed how wrong the government was to issue an €88m guarantee for this project.
"Joseph Muscat's project is falling to bits. Joseph Muscat and Konrad Mizzi no longer have any credibility," the PN said.
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