Letters: 8 November 2015

What brands and grades of petrol and diesel are available in Malta?

Malta is the only country in the European Union, and possibly in the world, where consumers have no idea what brand and grade of petrol or diesel they are purchasing!

Is this acceptable to the European Commission? Are Maltese citizens second-class EU citizens?

In such circumstances how can the minister for energy claim that the local petroleum market is liberalised?

A call for tenders for the procurement of unleaded petrol for the period January to June 2016 closed on 23 October. This call for tenders was issued by Enemed Company Limited – the state-owned company – on 9 October, 2015.

How was it possible for the finance minister to declare in the Budget speech on 12 October, that the prices of fuel were to be reduced as from the coming January because Enemed had concluded an agreement through which the price of petrol would be reduced by 3 cents while the price of diesel would be reduced by 4 cents – inclusive of an increase of 3 cents in excise duties?

With whom had Enemed reached an agreement for petrol by 12 October, when the closing date for tenders was 23 October? Can the energy minister let us know with whom this agreement was reached? 

In the call for tenders, Enemed asked for offers for the supply of four parcels of 6,900 metric tonnes each and two parcels of 5,600 metric tonnes each of RON95 unleaded petrol, and two parcels of 1,300 metric tonnes each of RON98 unleaded petrol. 

From which filling stations is the RON98 unleaded petrol going to be available? At what price is such petrol going to be sold?

Enemed has also issued a call for tenders for the procurement of 2,300 cubic metres of Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil (HVO) to be blended with EN590 diesel. This tender, which was issued by Enemed on 7 October, closed on 21 October, and the delivery of this HVO is scheduled to be made between the second and third week of this month.

Does this mean that the diesel purchased later this month is going to be blended with HVO? At which filling stations is the diesel blended with HVO going to be available? Is this going to be at the same price as the other diesel?

What information is Enemed providing to consumers about such petrol and diesel? Do not consumers have a right to know what they are purchasing?

The Malta Automobile Club, like the former consultant of the government, Michael Falzon, maintains that the importation, storage and sale of petrol and diesel should not be government business. 

The importation, storage and sale of petrol and diesel should be left in the hands of the local representatives of the foreign oil companies, who should be allowed to compete among themselves to provide petrol and diesel at the lowest prices possible, reflecting the international fuel prices.

Alfred A. Farrugia, Attard

Political humour

Somehow, I relish the unintended humour in statements made by some politicians much more than their intended substance, often encountered in matters touching on economic performance.   

I expected Miriam Dalli (MaltaToday, Sunday 1 November, page 4) to have asked the Opposition Leader to identify one example or two of what he described as “economic niches” and which the “government failed to create”, presuming that he would have done it himself if
in government.

Karm Farrugia, Madliena