ElectroGas director and shareholder Paul Apap Bologna was not informed of the Gasan Group’s plans to exit the controversial energy deal, hinting that he could be plotting his own escape from the agreement.
“I never said that I didn’t want out,” Apap Bologna said during the public inquiry linked to the assassination of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia.
He revealed that he and Mark Gasan discussed their positions in a recent board meeting of GEM Holdings, the Maltese representatives in the ElectroGas deal. However, there was no indication that he was plotting an exit strategy and would soon announce it in the media.
The ElectroGas consortium was selected to build and operate the LNG power station in Delimara back in October 2013, with a deal eventually signed in April 2015 and the project inaugurated two years later.
Caruana Galizia’s son, Matthew, has flagged the ElectroGas deal, where main suspect Yorgen Fenech served as a director and major shareholder, as a potential motive behind the assassination.
Gasan Group say they are mortified by the allegations and are looking to exit the project. However, throughout the sitting, Apap Bologna did declare that he still has faith in the deal, backing internal audits conducted. He has never read the National Audit Office’s report on the ElectroGas project.
The deal itself has raised eyebrows for several years, especially after the Daphne Project revealed in 2018 that ElectroGas was using one of its partners, Socar, as a middleman, when purchasing LNG, instead of purchasing directly at source.
The Guardian estimated that Socar is paying Shell around $113 million a year for LNG and then selling it to ElectroGas for $153 million – pocketing a tidy $40 million in the process.
ElectroGas then sells the LNG to Enemalta for the same price of $153 million and the gas is then converted into electricity and distributed around Malta.
Energy experts have questioned the logic behind this agreement, arguing that Maltese taxpayers would have stood to save tens of millions of euro had Enemalta agreed to purchase LNG directly from Shell.
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