[WATCH] Enemalta electricity theft brought down to negligible levels, CEO says

In addition to restructuring of the company's operations, since 2013 Enemalta has also improved the manner in which it collected money and debts owed to it

Enemalta CEO Jason Vella
Enemalta CEO Jason Vella

The theft of electricity in Malta has been brought down to negligible levels following a clampdown by Enemalta in order for to reduce losses and return the company to profitability, according to CEO Jason Vella.

Vella was a guest on current affairs programme Xtra Sajf, where he discussed how operations at the state-owned company had changed since 2013 and what new challenges it was facing.

He said that following 2013, the company had made a serious commitment to get out of the dire situation it was in. He said that a great deal of restructuring had been implemented, not only to the company’s operations, but also to the way it collected money and debts it was owed.

He said there had also been a clampdown on electricity theft, which he said was very common in the past. “It was substantial. There was state of leniency when it came to controls but today, we can say that this sort of situation is an odd occurrence.”

While there were some small cases recorded, overall the number of reported cases was negligible, Vella said.

Turning to the country’s consumption, he said that this had continued to increase in recent years. He said the year-on-year increase is normally somewhere in the region of 4%, adding that there had already been a 5.8% increase so far this year.  

Malta’s peak consumption had also increase substantially, increasing 27% since 2010.

Vella said that of the country’s total consumption, 30% was consumed by residences, with the remainder being used by retail outlets and industry. Both segments had witnessed a significant increase in recent years.

He explained that Malta today got its electricity from four main sources: the interconnector with Sicily, the power station operated by Electrogas, the former BWSC power station that has been converted to work with LNG and solar energy.

All sources were essential for Enemalta, Vella said, adding that he couldn’t point to one that was more important.

 “One of our main obligations is the stability of electricity supply. You can’t say you’re going to choose one source over the other. At any point in time you need to keep your sources as balanced as possible,” Vella.  

Vella said that Enemalta had last year managed to push the average length of time it took to resolve problems to below one hour. So far this year, the average was at 45 minutes, with Vella adding that he hoped it could be brought down further by the end of the year.