Minister does not commit to power station June deadline, 'works ahead of schedule'

Energy Minister says gas-fired power station will give the island cleaner air, more efficient energy

Energy Minister Konrad Mizzi would not commit the government to the June 2016 deadline for the completion of the new gas-fired power station, arguing however that the construction of the power plant was moving ahead of schedule.

He said, that the completion of the construction phase was scheduled for May, with operational tests to start afterwards.

Addressing a press conference at the Labour Party, the energy minister said the switch to gas would mean a reduction of 1.1 million tonnes of CO2 emissions, as well as 90% less harmful particles and chemicals released into the air by traditional power stations.

 “Saying the gas power station is not necessary would mean making the country dependent on heavy fuel oil,” he said, reacting to comments made by Opposition leader Simon Busuttil on Sunday.

Mizzi added that the PN seemed to be doing everything in their power to stop the development to a more environmentally future.

Asked about fuel prices, Mizzi said prices would drop in April and that the government was actively pushing for better competition in the sector.

Stressing that the PN had no plan in the energy sector, he said that the government was also looking forward to creating a pipeline to connect Malta and Gera in Germany.

In a reaction, the Nationalist Party accused Mizzi and the Prime Minister of “living a lie”.  It said, that the two had first promised a power station by March 2015 and now they could not commit to the June 2016 deadline.

“Moreover, the government has bound itself to buy electricity from the new power station, at a price which is higher than the interconnector. This means that the power station will keep utility bills high when one considers that the international price of oil dropped by 75% over three years,” the PN said.

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