Streamcast, the company behind the data centre that was meant to deliver a €75 million investment, owes Enemalta €500,000 in rent arrears, electricity bills and other costs, The Shift can confirm.
Urgent court filings this week by the State-owned utility company show that not only has Streamcast abandoned the data centre built for it with taxpayer money in the old power station tunnels, but it has also never paid a cent to Enemalta.
All dues being claimed by Enemalta date back to April 2018 – the day the data centre was announced with much hype and fanfare.
The Shift has already revealed that telecommunications provider Melita has also pulled the plug and suing the company for close to €300,000 in arrears for fibre optic connections and internet usage.
Streamcast was lauded in 2018 as ‘a major international company’ that would invest €75 million in the launch of an international data centre in Malta. It got the backing of the government, with former Minister Konrad Mizzi even turning up in Mumbai, India, and attending a press conference by Streamcast.
An investigation by The Shift stripped the Streamcast deal of the hype and showed a company that came from nowhere, without a data centre, infrastructure, funds, a track record or even a proper website. They got a sweetheart deal in Malta.
In yet another deal negotiated by Mizzi, taxpayers got the short end of the stick. Instead of the promised investment of €75 million, Streamcast seems to be leaving a growing mountain of debt while so-called ‘investors’ profited from the deal.
The Shift has also shown how the partners of Panama Papers firm Nexia BT covertly invested in Streamcast before its operations were sold to third parties, presumably for a neat profit.
Enemalta and Melita each appear to have allowed Streamcast to operate for two years without paying rent, electricity or internet access. In each case, it is not clear why Enemalta and Melita allowed Streamcast, a company without a track record, to rack up a bill of close to a million euro until it was evidently too late.
Enemalta had defended the Streamcast deal when The Shift exposed problems with the much-lauded project that now joins the growing list of deals by Joseph Muscat’s administration that were designed to fail.