Enemalta cancels multi-million-euro tenders delaying two distribution centres

Energy Minister Miriam Dalli announced the distribution centres last year following public outrage as the government failed to provide the necessary infrastructure to cope with demand in summer


Two major electricity distribution centres, announced last year following a summer of nationwide power cuts, have been delayed as Enemalta inexplicably cancelled both tenders after the bids closed.

Energy Minister Miriam Dalli announced the distribution centres last year following public outrage as the government failed to provide the necessary infrastructure to cope with demand.

Questions sent to Enemalta Chairman Ryan Fava to explain why the two multi-million-euro tenders were cancelled, only to be re-issued with the same conditions a few weeks later, remained unanswered.

Following Dalli’s announcement last November that Enemalta would invest some €55 million in a new distribution network, Enemalta issued two separate tenders for the construction of crucial distribution centres in Naxxar and Siġġiewi.

When announced, the EU-funded projects were already late, as they could not be ready in time for the summer when the significant increase in demand will severely strain Enemalta’s old and neglected network.

Two bidders submitted offers for the Naxxar centre, both higher than the original €6.7 million tender value.

The cancellation and reissuing of the tenders will significantly impact the original timeline envisaged for their completion, increasing the risk of further power disruptions like those faced last year.

One of the tenders cancelled.

The lowest bidder was AGG, which submitted an offer of €7.5 million.

Bonnici Brothers, a company whose owners are close to Prime Minister Robert Abela, submitted an offer of €12.1 million – almost double the tender’s value.

The same happened with the tender for the Siġġiewi distribution centre where AGG again submitted the lowest offer of €8.5 million, followed by BEST Elektrik Taahhut at €10.7 million, while Bonnici Brothers submitted the highest bid at €11.9 million.

Yet following the bids’ opening, Enemalta suddenly decided to cancel the two processes without an explanation. Such tenders are usually awarded to the lowest bidder.

After it decided to cancel the tenders, Enemalta reissued the same tenders, further delaying the execution of the two projects. This move is suspected to benefit Bonnici Bros now that the competing bids are public knowledge.

This is not the first time that tenders in which Bonnici Brothers participated encountered such ‘mishaps’.

The government recently awarded the construction company a €600 million contract to build and manage an incinerator in Magħtab.

The tender was issued by Wasteserv and is now being challenged in court following claims that the process was manipulated to favour Bonnici Brothers.

In addition, a few weeks ago, the same company whose managing director Gilbert Bonnici was in private business with Prime Minister Robert Abela also won a tender to supply Enemalta with a temporary power station valued at €37 million.

Bonnici Brothers are not known to have any relevant experience in the energy generation business.


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joe caruana
joe caruana
1 month ago

Ghalhekk gie hawn l-Ing Fava? Ha jgerfex u jhawwad ma shabu u klijenti tieghu? Ghax dik saret il-priorita qisu. Naqdu lil shabu u klijenti privati tieghu.

paul pullicino
paul pullicino
1 month ago

Different players. Same tactics.

simon oosterman
simon oosterman
1 month ago

It is all so blatantly obvious but par for the course in today’s Malta.

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