Marsa power station ends 62 years of electricity generation

Prime Minister and Energy Minister preside over closing of 62-year-old power station

Marsa power station. Photo: Chris Mangion
Marsa power station. Photo: Chris Mangion
Marsa power station switched off after 62 years

The first three boilers and 5MW steam turbines of an underground station, the Marsa A station, were inaugurated on 5 December 1953.

Today, at an event next to turbine 8 of the power station, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat and Energy Minister Konrad Mizzi presided over the ceremony of the switching off of the 62-year-old plant. The ceremony coincided with the day which the Labour Party had marked as deadline for the switch to a gas-fired power station in Delimara.

Mizzi said that the government had quietly switched off the turbines while tests were being carried out. Although the Marsa power station was on cold standby, ahead of its final decommissioning, a number of turbines may be switched on to ensure security of supply in case if need and until the new LNG plant becomes operational.

"We are not only working for cleaner air but also to keep the promise made with the residents 27 years ago," Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said.

Muscat said the country, especially the south, "was inhaling deeply", pointing out that the turbines at the power station had drawn a lot of criticism over the years. 

Muscat however praised the workers for their dedication and commitment.

"Today is the day which many Marsa residents had dreamt of, and almost considered it impossible," Muscat said, adding that the silence of the now switched off plant was "impressive".

The PM said that the switching off the power station would improve people's lives in terms of investment as well, following the decrease in property value due to the proximity of the power station.

He added that the government was in the last phases of the installation of the interconnector.

In a dimly lit area of the power station, with alternating colour lighting, tribute was paid to the old power station as Enemalta looks towards the switch to gas. A number of workers recounted 

"The closing down of the Marsa power station is not the end but the beginning of new ventures in the generation of electricity," Enemalta executive chairman Frederick Azzopardi said.

The first plans for a new power station to replace the Lascaris Power Station at Floriana were proposed in 1935. After the war, in 1949, the Maltese government acquired Marshall Aid Scheme funds for a new power station in Marsa.

In 1994, the Marsa A station was decommissioned and all coal-fired generating units at Marsa were converted to oil.

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