The government explains its energy plans, raps Labour’s changing versions
The government yesterday explained its plans to cut emissions from the Marsa power station, following the European Commission’s formal notice about Malta’s infringement of an EU directive on emissions limitation.
The Commission says three of the four Marsa energy-generating plants exceeded the 20,000 operation hours allowed.
In its statement, the government reiterated its commitment to ensure a stable supply of electricity that meets Malta’s energy demands while respecting environmental obligations.
To do so it worked on two major projects: the extension of the Delimara power station and an interconnector to link Malta to the European electricity network. Both projects were underway but had experienced delays in procurement due to technically non-compliant bids.
The government said the Delimara power station would be in full service by June while the interconnector will be completed and in operation by October 2013.
It also noted that Enemalta took mitigating measures to reduce emissions from the Marsa power station through the use of higher quality fuel and by making modifications to the boiler combustion system of the plants.
“This demonstrates that the government has taken serious action and is continuing to invest in Malta’s energy supply security while taking measures to mitigate the negative effects of keeping the Marsa power station in activity pending the completion of major investment projects.”
Meanwhile, the Finance Ministry yesterday issued a statement claiming that Labour leader Joseph Muscat had no idea how to reduce water and electricity tariffs as promised, so he had changed his version four times.
The minister referred to Dr Muscat’s address at Ta’ Giorni on Tuesday, when he said Labour would bring down tariffs through wise actions, using the latest technology and converting the power station to gas.
The ministry said that until a few months ago Dr Muscat promised he would reduce the tariffs by reducing €12 million from the Return on Capital Employed formula, but Standard and Poor’s said this was impossible.
After insisting the power station should be converted to diesel, Dr Muscat now seemed to accept the government’s version that this would have meant tariffs would increase by €30 million.
Dr Muscat therefore then said he held meetings with private operators and was willing to consider buying electricity from them. However, no details of these talks had been given.
The Labour leader was now saying he would opt for gas.
Meanwhile, the government had always said the new power station could also be operated on gas once such infrastructure became available.