Gasan Group CEO had ‘no idea’ about 17 Black

Shareholder in Maltese holding company in Electrogas says he cannot see link between 17 Black and Electrogas

Former energy minister Konrad Mizzi (centre) presides over the financial closure of the gas power project he had piloted in the previous legislature
Former energy minister Konrad Mizzi (centre) presides over the financial closure of the gas power project he had piloted in the previous legislature

One of the directors of the Maltese investment group that holds an interest in the Electrogas consortium that runs Malta’s LNG power plant, has denied any knowledge of the Dubai company 17 Black.

Mark Gasan, CEO of the Gasan Group, denied knowing of the company whose owner was reported to be Tumas Group CEO Yorgen Fenech, with whom Gasan holds an interest in GEM Holdings, a shareholder in Electrogas.

“I cannot see the link between 17 Black and Electrogas,” Gasan told MaltaToday.

Gasan sits on the board of directors of GEM Holdings alongside Tumas CEO Yorgen Fenech, who has been named as the owner of the Dubai-registered company 17 Black. Fenech is also a director of Electrogas Malta.

Last Friday, a joint investigation by Reuters and the Times of Malta named Fenech as the owner of the Dubai-registered company 17 Black, which was identified as a “target client” of the Panama offshore company opened by the Prime Minister’s chief of staff Keith Schembri and tourism minister Konrad Mizzi.

Contacted by MaltaToday, Gasan insisted that he had no idea about 17 Black and had never heard of it before it was mentioned in the media.

Asked whether he was concerned by the Times’ story and any effect it could have on Electrogas, Gasan said he could not see the connection with Electrogas. “There is no relation whatsoever between Electrogas and 17 Black”.

17 Black’s existence was first revealed by Daphne Caruana Galizia in a cryptic post back in February 2017, and is now known to have received a single payment of €161,000 from the local agent for the tanker supplying LNG to the power station, as well as two separate payments amounting to €1.1 million from an Azeri security guard through another offshore company.

Asked whether he had asked Fenech for an explanation since the story was published, Gasan told this newspaper that such questions should be directed to Fenech.

GEM Holdings Limited – one of the three shareholders of the Electrogas – is the Maltese arm of the consortium. The owners of GEM Holdings Limited are Gasan Enterprises Limited (a Gasan Group company), Tumas Energy Limited (a Tumas Group company), and CP Holdings Limited, a company owned by siblings Paul Apap Bologna and Christina Meli Bugeja.

A minor shareholding is also held by New Energy Supply Limited, which is wholly-owned by Fenech.

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