Maltese plans to pay Electrogas Malta, operator of the Delimara plant, for providing energy to Maltese electricity company Enemalta, are in line with state aid rules of the European Union, the Commission said on January 11.

The measure compensates Electrogas for the additional cost of fulfilling public service obligations. The project aims to decrease electricity prices, reduce environmental damage from energy production, and increase security of supply by diversifying the energy mix, the Commission said, adding that the project will partly replace the existing electricity generation infrastructure in Malta. The plans are in line with EU Energy Union plans spearheaded by European Commission Vice President Maroš Šefčovič.

The support is in line with EU state aid rules, in particular the Commission’s 2011 rules on services of general economic interest, which allow Member States, under certain conditions, to compensate companies that have been entrusted with public service obligations for the extra cost of providing these services. The Commission verified in particular that the Maltese energy market cannot adequately deliver the necessary level of service due to its particularly small and isolated character.

In related news, a tanker carrying the first consignment of gas for the Delimara power station has entered Marsaxlokk Bay and berthed alongside the floating storage platform, The Times of Malta reported on January 11.

Malta’s Minister Konrad Mizzi held a press conference with Šefčovič, who congratulated Malta for the project and for lowering tariffs and emissions, saying he was impressed by what had been achieved.

Enemalta is collaborating with ElectroGas Malta Consortium, in a project involving the building, owning, operating and maintaining of a new liquefied natural gas (LNG) delivery, storage, re-gasification and natural gas supply facility, as well as and a new natural gas-fired 215 MW combined cycle gas turbine electricity generation plant together with all necessary infrastructure connections to Enemalta’s electricity distribution network, at Delimara.