Minister deflects questions on Bonnici Brothers’ experience in power plants

Energy Minister Miriam Dalli has so far refused to answer questions about the experience required to lease power plants from Bonnici Brothers and UNEC – the company Enemalta chose to lease a €37 million power plant.

The tender required bidders to have proven experience leasing such power plants over the past three years, with a minimum total value of €10 million.

Industry insiders questioned UNEC’s proven experience in the field. Gilbert Bonnici, the company’s CEO and a former business partner of Prime Minister Robert Abela, did not answer questions sent to him.

When Opposition Energy spokesman Ryan Callus pressed Dalli to provide a list of past contracts that UNEC presented in its bid, Dalli diverted her reply and avoided providing the information.

Enemalta’s tender specifies that bidders must have proven experience leasing power plants.

Dalli emphasised that the required experience was in leasing rather than building a power station. However, she said she could not provide the information requested because the tender could still be appealed.

According to the Public Contracts Review Board website, none of the bidders, who had until Monday to file an appeal, have done so.

Dalli also refused to provide the list of members on the adjudication board who decided to award the €37 million contract to the Bonnici Brothers’ company.

She stated that the committee members were all Enemalta engineers. She did not reveal their names, citing data protection reasons.

Following a summer of discord due to prolonged power failures, Enemalta hurriedly issued a tender to lease a diesel-fired temporary power plant that would produce some 60 MW of energy this summer.

Enemalta’s Chairman, Ryan Fava, said it was necessary as the second interconnector with Sicily is not expected to be fully operational until 2026. In the meantime, the company cannot guarantee a full electricity service during the summer’s highest peak loads.

The Bonnici brothers’ €37 million plant will only be used in emergencies, and Enemalta will supply all the fuel used to fire the leased turbines.


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carmelo borg
1 month ago


Joseph Curmi
Joseph Curmi
1 month ago
Reply to  carmelo borg


1 month ago
Reply to  carmelo borg

some neighbour up the road known for corruption and greed.

Emanjel Cilia Debono
Emanjel Cilia Debono
1 month ago

The public is entitled to know what experience tenderer has in operation of power plants since this information is very relevant . The tender documents themselves obliged bidders to furnish such information. The principle of transparency so requires.

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