Former Enemalta CEO Louis Giordimaina claimed he couldn’t remember whether Enemalta’s board of directors had discussed the fact that Electrogas was €20 million short of the capital required for the power station deal.
Giordimaina testified before the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) on Tuesday as part of its investigation into the controversial project. In addition to serving as Enemalta CEO, he was chairperson of the programme review board, one of the bodies involved in the evaluation stage, and he sat on Enemalta’s board of directors.
The former CEO claimed that, while he couldn’t recall specific details, he remembered being presented with “joint financial statements” for the consortium as a whole, but not with information on the individual companies involved in each consortium.
The National Audit Office (NAO) report on the deal had pointed out that consortium member Gasol’s financial status was not “a going concern”, meaning that it did not have adequate resources to continue operating indefinitely.
When pressed to respond to this point, Giordimaina passed the buck to the evaluation committee chaired by disgraced former Energy Minister Konrad Mizzi’s longtime associate David Galea, in the same way that former Enemalta board chairman Charles Mangion, who testified in front of the PAC on 28 June, had passed the buck onto Giordimaina.
Mangion had said that the Enemalta board’s decision to approve the deal with Electrogas was a “fait accompli”, and was based largely on information in a presentation by Giordimaina.
When asked about this presentation, Giordimaina claimed he had made it based on advice provided by Galea and the evaluation committee. Further, he had given the presentation to the board because Galea wasn’t able to present it himself on the day.
Opposition MP David Agius asked why minutes from a meeting held in October 2013 said that both Giordimaina and Galea had in fact given this presentation.
The witness said he couldn’t remember whether Galea was even there, and claimed it was difficult to remember the details of a presentation he had given nine years ago.
Giordimaina also distanced himself from the evaluation process, claiming he had nothing to do with it and that the programme review board consistently leaned on the evaluation committee chaired by Galea for adequate due diligence on both the bidders and the changes made after the start of the tender process.
The next Electrogas hearing will take place on 28 July with Charles Mangion and Giordimaina testifying.