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2017 Electrogas contracts signed by Konrad Mizzi ‘for continuity’ – Energy Minister

Latest contract was signed in December 2017

Tourism Minister Konrad Mizzi signed the latest contracts between the government and Electrogas last year “for continuity”, Energy Minister Joe Mizzi said on Thursday.

In a voluminous investigation into the power station contracts tabled in Parliament last month, the Auditor General noted how Dr Mizzi was authorised by Cabinet in November 2017 to sign further agreements with Electrogas.

Watch: 'Multiple instances of non-compliance’ in winning Electrogas bid

Dr Mizzi was stripped of his role as energy minister in April 2016 soon after his ownership of a secret Panama company was first revealed. The prime minister took on the portfolio until Joe Mizzi was appointed as energy minister in June 2017.

Questioned if he was distancing himself from the Electrogas contracts by not signing them himself, Mr Mizzi said as energy minister he was ensuring that the sector moved forward.

Mr Mizzi said his aim was to ensure that there was an adequate energy supply at a low price.

The energy minister did not say when questioned if the 17 Black revelations raised alarm bells about the project.

A joint investigation by the Times of Malta and Reuters revealed that the Dubai company is owned by power station investor Yorgen Fenech.

Read: 17 Black owner identified as local power station businessman

According to a leaked e-mail, 17 Black planned to pay up to $2 million to two Panama companies owned by Konrad Mzzi and the Prime Minister’s chief of staff Keith Schembri.

The Auditor General’s investigation into the power station deal raised concerns about the selection process leading up to Electrogas winning the lucrative energy contracts.

The key concern that emerged from the Auditor General’s review of the evaluation process was the inconsistent approach at times adopted in the assessment of submissions.

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