Enemalta chairman inadvertently fact checks Joseph Muscat and Finance Minister at parliamentary committee

Previous testimony by disgraced former prime minister Joseph Muscat and responses to parliamentary questions by Finance Minister Clyde Caruana were corrected in testimony by Enemalta Chairman Ryan Fava in a Public Accounts Committee (PAC) meeting on Tuesday afternoon.

Fava’s responses to the committee’s questions exposed inconsistencies in Muscat’s testimony at the PAC in September relating to savings the national energy company Enemalta was entitled to.

They also contradicted Caruana’s parliamentary answers on who pays the excise taxes on the generated electricity.

The meeting, a continuation of the committee’s protracted examination of the National Audit Office’s (NAO) report on the contracts awarded to Electrogas by Enemalta in 2013, was characterised by infighting between members across party lines.

The Auditor General’s report highlighted “various shortcomings” and described major, often undocumented, flaws in the selection and evaluation process.

It revealed taxpayers were overcharged by millions of euros, with the Auditor General expressing “serious reservations” about an “irregular” and “unprecedented” €360 million loan guarantee given to Electrogas by the government.

Electrogas Chairman Ryan Fava (Inset, Right) before the PAC.

Fava, who has served as Enemalta’s Chairman since July 2022, explained that Enemalta did not benefit from a clause in its contract with the Electrogas consortium entitling it to a cut of the supplier’s savings, rubbishing Muscat’s claims in an earlier PAC sitting.

He said this was because there was never an oversupply of gas in the Floating Storage Unit (FSU) to be sold off and profited from.

The clause entitled Enemalta to 10% of the savings was subsequently never triggered. During a PAC meeting last September, Muscat had claimed these savings translated to $2.2 million annually.

In the same meeting, Fava also contradicted statements Muscat made, where he assured the PAC that Enemalta had access to Electrogas’ heat rates, data used to convert gas prices into electricity charges representing the plant’s overall efficiency.

The Enemalta chairman said that while Electrogas had access to Enemalta’s heat rate obligations, they did not have access to the actual rates but “did not need them,” as they would verify efficiency through their own calculations. He also said the rate is variable, with the singular figure provided by Muscat being misrepresentative.

Following questions by Opposition MP Darren Carabott, Fava said Enemalta, rather than Electrogas, was paying the excise tax owed to public coffers for electricity generation.

In response to parliamentary questions by the same MP, Finance Minister Clyde Caruana had claimed Electrogas paid the tax, listing figures for the amounts paid.

Before Fava could explain the discrepancy in answers, Carabott was cut off by MP and government whip Andy Ellul, who claimed such questions were outside the committee’s remit.

The meeting ended with an agreement for the committee to reconvene privately to view a copy of the Electrogas conversion term agreement, which Fava said was commercially sensitive and could not be viewed publicly.

Fava had replaced the previous chairman, Jonathan Scerri, who resigned in June 2022 without an official explanation.

The Shift has reported how the PAC’s investigation of the Electrogas contract has been bogged down and derailed, having started three years ago and facing constant delay-and-denial tactics from those testifying.

                           

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6 Comments
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makjavel
makjavel
4 months ago

So both Muscat and Caruana lied to the PAC.
What now?
Any lawyer around , who can tell us , what now?

James
James
4 months ago
Reply to  makjavel

There’s no point in asking the Attorney General nor the current PM in his capacity as an experienced lawyer because they are both part of the problem and certainly not the solution.

carlos
carlos
4 months ago

min jista’ jemmeen kelma wahda min dak li jghid l-akbar x pm korrot. gideb u tgerfix biex ihawwad l-imhuh u b’hekk gahan jibqa’ jghix f’gidba u l-korruzzjoni a la joseph muscat. isthi jm mill-haddiema li nqdejt bihom biex sraqtilhom il-vot biex tistaghna int u l-korrotti shabek.

makjavel
makjavel
4 months ago

Whoever wrote that oversupply condition was a cretin or corrupt.
LNG is bought by the USD/MMBtu)also converted into GWhr.
The power station has its thermal effciency in the conversion of LNG into Electricity and since the stupid or corrupt government instead of leaving the purchasing of LNG to Electrogas and then it would be Electrogas to operate at its best efficiency , the government took over the purchasing of the LNG , the best way to get the cut from the commissions. Muscat tried to play hero , trying to tell us how EneMalta made a profit. It is more possible that Electrogas made a profit. It was a lie. Muscat always lies. This time he found the EneMalta CEO to expose his backside.

James
James
4 months ago

Is anyone truly surprised that the former MP and the current minister of finance have been caught misleading Parliament again?

Just another example of the devious machinations of those that the electorate puts their faith in to do the right thing spending their taxes.

Godfrey Leone Ganado
Godfrey Leone Ganado
4 months ago

I would like to thank Mr Graham Bencini, a member of the PAC representing the PN, for asking the right questions to Mr Fava Chairman of Enemalta Corporation regarding payments for heat rates in accordance with the relative agreement with the intention of corroborating Joseph’s Muscat’s reply to the PAC a week earlier that his guessestimate of the payment of the 10% amounted to around 2.2 million saving. The Enemalta Chairman gave the lie to Joseph Muscat by replying that the payment was NIL as there was no surplus of supply of gas in the Floating Storage Tanker to pay for.
This shows clearly that Joseph Muscat replies to questions put to him, either with lies or with information shot from the hip..
This shows the importance of having members on any Board/Committee with the right professional credentials.
It also shows why the PL representatives keep trying to abort intelligent questions not to embarrass Joseph Muscat and expose him for what he is – a pedigree crook.

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