Major agreements signed by Health and Energy Minster Konrad Mizzi or entities he is directly responsible for have so far remained unpublished or only partially revealed, an exercise conducted by the Times of Malta shows.
The agreements (see table) are among the major deals that the Labour government struck in the past three years and involve multi-million investments and the commitment of millions in state guarantees, particularly through Bank of Valletta.
The most important agreement negotiated and signed by Dr Mizzi concerned the government’s major electoral commitment to build a new gas-fired power plant at Delimara in order to reduce utility tariffs.
Following a bidding process, the government concluded a deal with Electrogas consortium to build the plant and furnish electricity to Enemalta for the next 18 years through a power purchase agreement.
Signed behind closed doors, the agreement originally stipulated that the new power station would be up and running by March 2015.
However, the project was delayed and is now expected to be on stream next June.
It later emerged that the government had entered into a new agreement to make a State guarantee of €88 million so that Bank of Valletta could issue the consortium with the required financing. Later, the government announced that it was extending the state guarantee to €360 million.
Despite several requests from the media and the Opposition, the agreements signed with Electrogas, particularly the power purchase agreement, has never seen the light of day.
Dr Mizzi has also failed to publish a deal with an American company for the takeover of the Mediterranean Offshore Bunkering Corporation (MOBC). Despite criticism from the industry that the deal was done without a call for tenders, the minister refused to publish the details, citing commercial sensitivities.
Agreements signed with Shanghai Electric Power of China for the sale of a 33 per cent stake in Enemalta and the BWSC power plant for a total of €320 million were also not published in full.
However, the minister divulged parts of these agreements in Parliament.
Dr Mizzi is also currently involved in ongoing negotiations over the privatisation of some aspects of Malta’s health service.
A new government company under Dr Mizzi’s political wing, Projects Malta, had announced last June it had chosen Vitalis Global Healthcare Group for a €200 million investment in the Gozo Hospital, St Luke’s and Karen Grech.
The idea is for the government to buy health services from this private entity in exchange for investment in Malta’s healthcare system.
The final agreement has not been signed yet and details are still scarce.
|September 11, 2013||MOU with China Power Investment Corporation on Enemalta||No|
|March 12, 2014||Heads of terms agreement with Shanghai Electric power to partial sale of Enemalta||No|
|2014||Enemalta enters into hedging agreement with Socar Trading SA following “ministerial direction”. NAO acknowledges loss of €14 million||No|
|May 2014||Agreement on new gas-fired power plant with Electrogas in Delimara||No|
|August 25, 2014||Eight contracts on transfer of land to Enemalta||No|
|October 3, 2014||Exclusive agreement with American company to use facilities of MOBC||No|
|October 29, 2014||Sale of former Enemalta Petroleum division to Enemed||Yes|
|December 12, 2014||Sale of 33 per cent of Enemalta and BWSC plant to China’s Shanghai Electric||Partially published|
|December 15, 2014||MOU with Azerbaijan on strategic cooperation in energy||Yes|
|December 15, 2014||MOU with Socar on strategic cooperation in oil and gas||No|
|January 29, 2015||Five-year agreement between Enel and Enemalta on use of Malta-Sicily interconnector||No|
|March 18, 2015||Preliminary agreement on privatisation of Gozo and St Luke’s hospital||No|
|June 7, 2015||The Sunday Times of Malta reveals an €88 million state guarantee to Electrogas||No|
|August 12, 2015||The government announces extension of state guarantee to Electrogas to €360 million||No|
|November 11, 2015||Agreement between Enemalta and Montenegro on wind farm construction. Enemalta submits €1.5 million bank guarantee||No|