[WATCH] Gas-fired Delimara 3 plant to commence operations in March

Minister Konrad Mizzi says the former BWSC plant in Delimara will start operating at 50% output until all eight turbines are converted to operate on gas

Konrad Mizzi (right) addressing Enemalta management and workers with Prime Minister Joseph Muscat
Konrad Mizzi (right) addressing Enemalta management and workers with Prime Minister Joseph Muscat
Gas-fired Delimara Phase 3 plant to commence operations in March

The former BWSC power plant – Delimara 3 – will start operating commercially in March at 50% output after four of its eight turbines have been converted to operate on gas, with the new LNG plant entering operations soon afterwards, minister Konrad Mizzi announced on Friday.

The minister accompanied Prime Minister Joseph Muscat and Enemalta CEO Frederick Azzopardi on a visit to Enemalta plc’s head office in Marsa, where they met and thanked employees, following Thursday’s endorsement of the company by the international credit rating agency Standard and Poor’s (S&P).

This was the fifth time in four years that the agency endorsed the efforts of Enemalta plc in the implementation of its turnaround plan for better quality services and long-term financial sustainability.

Mizzi said that the first phase of the planned conversion in the Delimara 3 power plant had been completed and the four gas turbines will be added to official supply channels in March.

When operating at full capacity, the BWSC plant peaked at 150MW output.

Mizzi said S&P’s endorsement was a result of the government’s policies over the past four years and the hard work of the company’s staff and management.

“We are pleased that Enemalta’s increased performance has been recognised,” he said. “Over the past few years, the company has managed to curb theft, increase sales and has already cut its debt to half what they were.”

Muscat recalled that during the election campaign four years ago, nearly to the date, he had promised Enemalta workers the company could become viable and sustainable over the long term.

“Here we are four years later, celebrating the fifth endorsement in as many years by Standard and Poor’s for the company’s performance, commitments and projections,” he said.

Muscat said that the process had not been easy but the government had been immediately committed to making Enemalta profitable again.

He said there were two important conclusions to take away from the report: first, that the improvements and turnover at Enemalta were crucial for the growth of the economy and, secondly, that the only threat to the country’s energy sector was possible meddling with the existing system.”

“The only threat to the sector is the leader of the Opposition, who last week tore up copies of the energy contracts in Parliament,” he said. “Those same documents are what saved Enemalta all the workers here, and made it possible for us to have cleaner air and reduced tariffs.”