Names of people involved in Electrogas selection deemed ‘commercially sensitive’

Shadow minister suggests Nexia BT boss Brian Tonna was involved in selection of Electrogas as preferred bidder for power station project

The government has refused to disclose the names of the people involved in Enemalta's selection of the Electrogas consortium as the preferred bidder for the construction of the LNG power station.

In response to a parliamentary question by shadow justice minister Jason Azzopardi, energy minister Joe Mizzi said that such information cannot be disclosed because it has “commercial value” and could “prejudice the company’s business”.

I

n a Facebook post, Azzopardi questioned whether the real reason behind the refusal to disclose the names was because one of the people involved was Nexia BT managing partner Brian Tonna.

Tonna was thrown into controversy last year when it was revealed that his firm had set up two offshore Panama companies for tourism minister Konrad Mizzi and the Prime Minister’s chief of staff Keith Schembri. He later also claimed ownership for ‘Egrant’, the third Panama company created by Nexia BT that was revealed in the Panama Papers.

Enemalta chose the ElectroGas consortium as the preferred bidder for the power station project back in 2013. The consortium is composed of Azerbaijani state-owned SOCAR Trading,  Siemens Project Ventures, and GEM Holdings Ltd – which is owned by the Gasan and Tumas development groups.

The consortium had originally also included Gasol, but the company was struck off in 2015 amid audit reports that it didn’t have enough liquid assets to pay off its debts.

In Parliament today, PN deputy leader Beppe Fenech Adami repeatedly questioned Joe Mizzi as to why revealing the names of the people involved in the selection process was so commercially sensitive.

Mizzi responded that the entire selection process was commercially sensitive and that previous administrations had in the past refused to disclose similar commercial information in Parliament.

More in National