Unmitigated arrogance breeds carelessness and indifference – and that means you leave spoor which others can follow

Published: October 16, 2013 at 3:13am

Looking back now, and putting it all into context, it’s so damned obvious that the Labour Party’s electoral plan for energy was not a policy but an actual nitty-gritty plan that it had knocked out and negotiated already, down to the specifics, with at least some of those who would be implementing it.

When Konrad Mizzi spoke about it during the electoral campaign in January, he spoke about something that had been organised already, and that is why he was so confident about it all, and came across as knowing more than he was able to say.

But still be dropped clanging give-aways, and now we can begin to stitch them together. Back in January – I’ve checked the date, and it was the 9th – Konrad Mizzi told the press that the new power station would cost €376 million. I remember asking myself at the time how and why he was able to pull that very specific figure out of his hat.

Three hundred and seventy-SIX million? That wasn’t a ballpark figure of the sort that a political party would give when talking about a planned policy initiative. That was clearly the actual cost. And if they had the actual cost, then they probably also had the actual supplier to quote it to them.

Now we learn through Gasol’s investor statement, published as mandated by stock exchange regulations (the London AIM list) that the power station will cost – oh, what a surprise – €370 million.




49 Comments Comment

  1. oxo says:

    It cannot be coincidence. All was set and planned to execute according to the roadmap. So, are we saying that parties to this “bid” were pre-selected? It can’t be…

  2. canon says:

    Don’t ask me from where Labour got cash for that extravagant electoral campain.

  3. curious says:

    After what we know today, please take some time to read this again.

    There is a whole lot of contradictions to what we were promised. It resembles one of those before and after adverts.

    Enemalta will not be privatized, Konrad said. The insistence on a 10 year fixed price is clear for all to see. The 25 year binding contract has gone down to 18.

    You will also be reminded of certain details which tend to be forgotten. One of them is the month long roadshow which they organized to entice bidders.

    http://www.maltatoday.com.mt/…/newsdetails/news/…/A-man-with-a-plan-Kon...

  4. Infurmat says:

    What Konrad Mizzi has overlooked is the need to conduct a Strategic Environmental Assessment now that he has opted to change the national energy policy. Follow this link and see that Konrad is in breach of an important EU directive in this whole redundant power station plan of his:

    http://dinlarthelwa.org/uncategorized/strategic-environmental-assessment-revision-of-national-energy-policy/

  5. George Grech says:

    What about the six million difference between Mizzi’s prediction and the actual cost ? PL’s election campaign I presume.

  6. Bubu says:

    Isn’t all this illegal according to EU law? How the hell can they be allowed to get away with it?

  7. Floating says:

    If the end result is cheaper and cleaner energy, nothing else matters.

    [Daphne – Exactly how low is your IQ? This is like saying that people who have food and a roof over their head don’t need to worry about freedom and autonomy.]

    • Watchful eye says:

      In other words, according to your wisdom, you are supreme as long as you have bread and water to live on. Other considerations are futile. Frightful, frightful indeed. How can this country prosper again with voters like you?

    • Anthony Briffa says:

      Mentalita ta’ wiehed mejjet bil-guh u fl-istess hin ta’ qahba li wikkejtuna b’dan l-imbarazz ta’ gvern.

    • H.P. Baxxter says:

      It will be not be cheaper, nor will it be cleaner. Your IQ is very, very low.

    • silvio loporto says:

      What use is “freedom and autonomy”if you have an empty stomach and no roof over your head?

      Now we have been given proof that before the election they were not promising us pies in the air,everything was well planned and worked. They were just waiting for our votes to implement what they were promising.

      That’s what I call a Govt with a well worked out road map, and I expect more to come for our benefit.

    • Tarzan says:

      The end result is that we have dishonest people making decisions which effect all of us and our children. And what’s worse, a lot of idiots think of them as pure snow white virgins who cannot harm a fly.

    • Josette says:

      Cleaner? Are you sure?
      And it’s maybe going to be cheaper in the short term. Then I think we’ll have to pay the piper… and dearly at that.

    • Gahan says:

      Pimp logic: as long as they bring in money, nothing else matters.

    • xmunc says:

      Thanks, Daphne – IQ Tests should be made mandatory for the vote.

  8. Confused says:

    So we know that when both power stations are up and running we will have an excess amount of power generation. The government plans (supposedly) to sell this excess, and thus become a net energy exporter.

    http://admin.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20130915/local/malta-china.486255#.Ul4mxzIaySM

    http://www.maltatoday.com.mt/en/newsdetails/news/national/Malta-potential-exporter-of-solar-energy-20130918

    Whilst Malta is planning to ramp up its energy production through the combustion of fossil fuels, in the hope of selling its excess production for a profit, other major European producers are seeing their profits dwindle. Many major hydrocarbon fuelled power plants in mainland Europe, including our northern neighbour, are loosing piles of money due to the surge in renewable energy sources.

    http://www.economist.com/news/briefing/21587782-europes-electricity-providers-face-existential-threat-how-lose-half-trillion-euros

    We know that the investors in the new power plant will be recouping all their investment, irrespective of whether or not the whole project pans out as planned, so they are secure.

    We know we will have excess power that the government plans to sell through the European grid network.

    We also know that the sale of electricity produced by hydrocarbon powered power plants is increasingly less profitable.

    Therefore why would the government, so proud of its “due diligence” invest so heavily in a sector that is on the decline? European players are either shutting down or re-inventing themselves, yet we pursue a failing strategy.

    The Maltese tax payer will be footing the bill for the act of folly, whilst the major investors will be gaining massively. The only losers are the Maltese tax payers.

    Admittedly my view may be overly simplistic, however I cannot but wonder what has driven and motivated individuals in this goverment to pursue this project. It just does not make any sense to me. What’s in it for them?

    • Gahan says:

      Don’t try to understand, they simply want to make a massive project, which they promised to do in exchange of something.

      Where did Labour get all that money for their campaign ?
      No prizes for the right answer.

  9. La Redoute says:

    The devil is always in the detail. The giveaway was Konrad Mizzi’s VERY specific unit price for electricity – 9c6.

    He didn’t say it would be ‘less than 10 cents’ or ‘around 9c5’. No. 9c6, precisely.

    He then expected us to believe him when he said he couldn’t show us the workings because that would compromise Malta’s negotiating potential.

    Such bullshit. And the sucker switchers fell for it.

  10. Vagabond King says:

    Why is anybody surprised that it was a done deal? Payback time for some of the biggest contributors to the PL election campaign. Or maybe it was the other way round, knowing their sort: first they got the deal, then they handed over the donations.

  11. Carmelo Micallef says:

    This is a scam.

    An investment such as this with a contractual obligation by the Republic of Malta to guarantee the repayment in full of the investment could be financed on a back-to-back basis very very easily by an empty vessel such as Gasol or any other passing `pimp, thieve or scoundrel`.

    The electorate of Malta have voted in a bunch of village bums to control an EU country with an `A` grade credit status.

  12. xifajk says:

    Bongu Daphne,

    F’din l-intervista ma’ Salvu Today, 14 ta’ Janna, kien sahansitra semma PRECIZAMENT Eur370m.

    A man with a plan | Konrad MizziMonday 14 January 2013 – 10:50 The main sponsor of Labour’s energy plan, Konrad Mizzi, is confident enough that his party’s €370 million plan to go for gas is watertight.

    Ghal xi raguni ma nistax nikkopja l-link. Jekk tfittex “A man with a plan + Konrad Mizzi + Maltatoday” titla’ mill-ewwel.

  13. Alexander Ball says:

    Konrad Mizzi was based in London, has a house there, and worked as an energy consultant.

    We tend to forget that.

  14. Anthony Briffa says:

    I think the Auditor, in this instance has a case with a huge burning fire not just the smelling of smoke, which should prompt him to initiate an investigation and report his findings to Parliament. This is not just smoke this is fact.

    One guy Fenech said yesterday that the storage facility to be moored outside Marsaxlokk has already been chartered. This means that all this happened between Sunday and Tuesday, meaning that in two working days this group managed to charter a facility for 18 years.

    As noted above, Konrad Mizzi back in January, when he was just a Labour candidate, already knew the cost of the new power station.

    The Auditor General must act in haste to clarify all these shady actions and statements. His office is independent and embedded in the Constitution.

  15. pablo says:

    How right you are. And remember the Xarabank promise to provide a sample of a ten-year fixed price agreement that disappeared by Monday morning – the Gasol people obviously pulled him in over that weekend, saying that it was more like five, and lo and behold five it became, but only after 9 March. And soon 25% reduction will become 20%.

    So if Konrad Mizzi knew, and if Gasan and Fenech knew their consortium was going to get the contract way back in 2012, – and I say if, because its only circumstantial – would it not have been good intelligence for friends of friends to know about this and buy up stock.

  16. Oscar the Wilde says:

    About bloody time Maltese so-called “journalists” pull their fingers out and start exercising properly every aspect of their profession.

    Daphne, you have shown them the way as to what investigative journalism is all about.

    We have reached the stage where your “notebook” is the first read of the morning, the only source of news and supporting facts and figures.

    • Watchful eye says:

      Oscar, this notebook has been my mandatory first morning read for approximately the last six years. And I have passed on the message to many of my level headed colleagues/friends.

  17. Neil says:

    Yes – the sheer slickness of his presentation was very ‘impressive’, for want of a better word. It stuck out like a sore thumb against a background of Labour ineptness. It’s only when details like these are revealed that we have that, ‘Oooohh Now I Get It!’ moment.

  18. ciccio says:

    On 8 January 2013, Konrad Mizzi not only announced the total price of Euro 376 million, but he also gave a detailed break-down of it:

    1. New generation plant (200MW): €166 million
    2. BWSC conversion to gas: €68 million.
    3. Gas supply infrastructure: €142 million.

    Total: €376 million.

    http://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20130108/news/pl-tariffs.452366

    Quite a precise breakdown, actually. Euro 68 million (not Euro 70) for the BWSC conversion, for instance.

  19. ciccio says:

    There is a VERY IMPORTANT detail which I must have missed.

    On Sunday morning, while some Maltese people were still queueing at “is-Serkin” for pastizzi after a night out, Konrad Mizzi announced that a Maltese-Azeri (why not Maltese-German, given that there is Siemens in there?) clinched the deal to build a new gas power station at Delimara.

    http://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20131013/local/gas-bidder.490079

    But did the Minister of Transparency announce THE PRICE at which the consortium will be selling electricity to Enemalta?

    Wasn’t this the whole purpose of the exercise?

    Not only did he not do so. In a note (prepared by Equity Development, a UK independent investment research company) which was first published on their website and later withdrawn, Gasol plc, one of the parties in the consortium, stated (page 2):

    “Contract terms

    The concession will be on a build-own-operate-transfer (‘BOOT’) basis, over an 18 year life. There are three essential elements to this:

    – Provision of a Floating Storage Unit (‘FSU’).
    – Development and operation of a 200MW independent power producer (‘IPP’).
    – Supply of gas.

    The first of these is covered by the preferred bidder status, as is part of the second. In simple terms, Electrogas commits to provision of the FSU and build of the power plant, and is guaranteed return of capex whether or not the plant is ever used or gas supplied – an unlikely event. The remainder is subject to detailed negotiation prior to final completion of the concession.”

    So if I understand well, the preferred bidder status announced by the Minister means that:

    1. The Minister is HAPPY with the price and terms of the 200MW power station.

    2. The Minister is PART HAPPY with the price and terms of the floating storage (and presumably regasification unit included in there, but I don’t know).

    3. The Minister HAS NO IDEA AT ALL AS YET as to the price and terms of the gas for the plant. Which means that the Minister HAS NO IDEA AT ALL AS YET about the price at which electricity will be supplied to Enemalta.

    In fact, it seems to me that the negotiation about the supply, and hence the price and terms, of the gas has not yet been finalised and needs to be covered between now and the conclusion of the contract.

    So how could the Minister decide this public offer at this stage? Something is seriously wrong here.

    Whilst last Sunday’s news was presented to us like another “case closed,” I have the feeling that it is still WIDE OPEN.

  20. stef says:

    WHY ISN’T NET NEWS DEALING WITH THE DONE DEAL SITUATION? TODAYS NEWS HAD THE GOZO CHANNEL WORKER IN THE HEADLINES AND NOTHING ABOUT THE GAS STATION. ALL THE BIDDING PROCESS WAS STAGED!

  21. ciccio says:

    The Electrogas proposal for the new gas powerstation systems in Delimara includes the docking of an LNG FSRU in Marsaxlokk, next to the powerstation. A document published by Gasol on 14 October 2013 on its website, and later withdrawn, showed the exact location of the FSRU.

    An LNG FSRU is likely to be a large LNG tanker converted for the storage and regasification of LNG.

    Here is the only video of a full-size LNG FSRU that I could find on the internet. There is another video which is a slightly longer version of this one, relating to the same case.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VjGeAFY-8Fk

    The video, which was taken in Indonesia, shows the transfer of LNG from a yellow-coloured LNG carrier to a red-coloured LNG FSRU. (In some parts of the video, the yellow ship is hidden behind the red FSRU).

    Based on what those people in the video have to say, this is clearly a technology still in its early days.

    One of the speakers (4.10) is very clear that this is a new business. He says that regulation is unclear because of this. He speaks about permits, storage distance limits, and that many questions are still to be answered.

    The transfer to the FSRU is being done in open seas – far from the land and any inhabitation or industrial installation. In Malta, Joseph Muscat and Konrad Mizzi will be conducting this operation within the Marsaxlokk harbour about 12 times a year.

    And here is this news about FSRU Toscana, which is described here as “the first floating ‘gas plant’ in the world”.

    http://www.naturalgaseurope.com/first-floating-gas-plant-moored-offshore-tuscany

    Incidentally it sailed from Malta only late last July.

    It is now moored in Tuscany, 12 miles offshore, close to Livorno. That’s right, 12 miles away from land, from where it will feed a pipeline which will carry the gas onshore. Why put it 12 miles away from land when it is going to serve customers on land? Safety, perhaps?

    The FSRU Toscana has a capacity of 137,500 cubic metres of LNG.

    Last Sunday, Konrad Mizzi said that the FSRU in Delimara will have a capacity of 126,000 cubic metres, which is about one tenth less than the FSRU Toscana.

    http://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20131013/local/gas-bidder.490079

    The FSRU Toscana is the result of the conversion of a 288 metre long LNG tanker. That’s right, a tanker that is more than one quarter of a kilometer long. If you take off one-tenth of that length, you are still left with more than a quarter of a kilometer. Is Konrad Mizzi proposing to dock an FSRU in Delimara which is one quarter of a kilometer long?

    This is what the FSRU Toscana looked like when it was entering Malta’s Grand Harbour.

    http://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20130701/local/offshore-lng-regassification-terminal-towed-into-grand-harbour.476191

    A vessel like this will soon be PERMANENTLY moored in “picturesque” Marsaxlokk.

    It can be said that LNG FSRUs are essentially prototype technology, still in their infancy.

    Electrogas, and Gasol in particular, should be asked to show other locations where they have built and operated an FSRU successfully. It doesn’t look like Joseph Muscat and Konrad Mizzi have done so already as part of their extremely careful due diligence of the bidders.

    As a matter of fact, Gasol do not have FSRUs, anywhere. Remember their balance sheet does not have any assets other than for some cash and goodwill? And their business alliance with SOCAR has just started in December 2012.

    Incidentally, this makes us ask the question: who will be building the FSRU or converting an old ship into an FSRU for use in Malta? The Italian one mentioned before was built in Dubai. Now that the Malta Drydocks has been privatised, where does the MLP think is best to build the one for Malta? I know it will be supplied by the consortium, but the MLP may have suggested a supplier, “biex niffrankaw xi haga” (to save some money). Maybe the trips to Dubai by MLP officials are an indication of the likely supplier.

  22. ciccio says:

    SHOCKING NEWS.

    Daphne, the Malta Labour Party’s (MLP) fraud is revealed here.

    Gasol plc – the suspicious company forming part of the consortium from which Joseph Muscat and Konrad Mizzi will be buying power for a period of 18 years at a yet-undisclosed price using our money – has some very interesting information on its website, comparing and contrasting (we love those on this blog, don’t we) floating storage-and-regasification units (FRSU) versus on-shore LNG storage and regasification plants, illustrated with pictures and other diagrams. See here:

    http://www.gasolplc.com/our-operations/supply-gas-and-lng.aspx

    (On the Gasol plc website, “Our Operations,” “Supply gas and LNG,” bottom of the screen).

    Gasol contrasts the time-to-market, the cost of implementation and the environmental impact. Time-to-market and cost of implementation are shown as a range because they depend on plant size and volume, of course.

    1. Time-to-market

    The time-to-market shows a maximum period of 24 months for an FSRU – exactly as promised by Joseph Muscat and Konrad Mizzi.

    Gasol also states that an onshore plant could take from 48 to 60 months to commission. Didn’t Tonio Fenech and the PN say this during the electoral campaign, with reference to an on-shore plant, which is what the MLP made us all believe they would develop? Didn’t Fenech and the PN say that there was no way the MLP could build the scale of plant they suggested in 2 years? Didn’t the MLP ridicule Fenech and the PN when they said so?

    Labour said 24 months is “doable.” Of course, that’s what Gasol was telling them, based on an FSRU.

    2. Cost of implementation

    Gasol shows that an FSRU could cost from $50 to $250 million (say, Euro 40m to Euro 190m).

    It also says that an on-shore plant could cost from $500 million to $1 billion (say, Euro 380m to Euro 770m).

    This is a CRITICAL ISSUE in the whole argument. Just look at the difference between those costs. And remember that this information is provided by Gasol itself, in black on white.

    The minimum cost of an onshore plant could start at twice the maximum cost of an FSRU. Analysed differently, the smallest on-shore plant could cost 10 times as much as a FSRU of the same size, while the largest on-shore plant could cost 4 times as much as a FSRU of the same size.

    How could anyone proposing an on-shore plant compete with Gasol’s unit cost (of electricity generated) based on an FSRU at this point?

    And here is a key give-away of the fraud.

    On 8 January 2013, when the MLP announced its “energy plan,” it had estimated the total cost of the Delimara project, including a new 200MW power station, to be Euro 370 million.

    http://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20130108/news/pl-tariffs.452366

    This means that even the smallest on-shore gas infrastructure only (that is, only the gas infrastructure, without a new 200MW power station) would cost EVEN MORE than the entire project proposed by the MLP (that is, including the 200MW powerstation), and this is using information published by Gasol itself.

    Now considering that the MLP says that the total cost of the project is Euro 370 million, including a new 200MW Siemens power station at Euro 166 million, then the difference in the cost of the gas infrastructure between an FSRU and an on-shore plant as set out above would, proportionally to the total cost of the project, make a HUGE IMPACT on the resulting unit costs (of electricity generated).

    On 8 January 2013, Konrad Mizzi had already estimated that the gas infrastructure would cost Euro 142 million. This is perfectly and comfortably within the range suggested by Gasol for an FSRU.

    During the electoral campaign, Tonio Fenech and the PN had been very clear that the cost estimates presented by the MLP for the project were seriously understated. Fenech was of course working on information relating to gas infrastructure on land. Fenech had suggested that there was a cost underestimation of at least Euro 200 million in the MLP’s numbers.

    http://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20130108/news/fenech-on-pl-power-plans-you-do-not-know-what-yu-are-saying.452465

    http://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20130114/news/tariffs-would-rise-5-under-labour-fenech.453217

    Fenech had also stated that the costs of preparing the land for the gas storage tanks had not been taken into account. Of course not. With hindsight now we know that there are not going to be any tanks on land, even if the MLP did show a couple of small storage tanks on land in its pictures of the project. In fact, the MLP’s pictures of Marsaxlokk without the present chimney may have looked nice, but Labour did not show the FSRU which will be docked in Marsaxlokk.

    It is also not a surprise that Fenech had noted that Labour had not factored the cost of LNG ships. Well, now we know from a Gasol announcement of 14 October 2013 that the negotiations on the supply and price of LNG is not yet concluded even if a preferred bidder has already been chosen – a SERIOUS SCANDAL in itself, in my view. Maybe they will factor the cost of the LNG ships in the cost of supply of the gas.

    3. Environmental impact

    Gasol says that a FSRU is ideal for sensitive areas of land, because it leaves a minimal environmental impact. On the other hand, an on-shore plant will have a major impact on surrounding land.

    Now we understand why the MLP is not concerned about the permits.

    But how can one argue that docking a FSRU in Marsaxlokk on a permanent basis is not of environmental concern? Both to the land and to the maritime environment. And then there are safety issues as well, which had been discussed on this website in detail back in January 2013.

    Points 1 to 3 strongly indicate that the MLP had this information already. Well, this information was public anyway, because it was on Gasol’s website. And they were most probably able to make their promises according to this information.

    Add all this to the other information published on this website, and there is at least enough “unambigous circumstantial evidence” to show that there was a fraud.

    I have to add an important point. In the same place on Gasol’s website as referred above, Gasol says that: “Gasol has been working to develop an interim gas supply solution through the provision of regasified LNG. The Company aims to sign gas sales agreements for regasified LNG to develop a gas market prior to substituting natural gas for LNG.”

    This shows that Gasol itself considers its FSRU technology as an “interim solution.” In fact, based on information published by and about Gasol, the company is at the moment seeking to import LNG to Benin where it will regasify it and feed it into the West Africa Gas Pipeline (which connects Ghana, Togo, Benin and Nigeria) using LNG FSRUs as a temporary solution, until it can acquire and connect to regional gas sources.

    This means that the MLP is buying for Malta, for a period of 18 years, what Gasol, the supplier, sees as an “interim solution” in its main target markets. WOW, way to go.

    While Gasol is seeking to connect and feed gas to African countries – Ghana, Benin, Togo and Nigeria – through a gas pipeline, Joseph Muscat and Konrad Mizzi went to Gasol (and others) to feed Malta, “the Best Country in Europe,” with an “interim” solution” which costs Euro 370 million while the European gas pipeline solution is put on the back-burner.

    I read somewhere that Gasol is uniquely developing this type of FSRU. This would mean that it is highly unlikely that Joseph Muscat and Konrad Mizzi had this sort of information from any other company in the world.

    FSRU is indeed a rare and untested technology. Countries converting to gas are building their own on-shore gas tanks, so they do not resort to FSRU. Little is known about the safety of FSRU, and therefore it is so far unregulated.

    The Auditor General and the other relevant authorities should look into this case. There are grounds to declare the public procurement process null and void. It was a travesty, waste of time.

    The other bidders should protest about this matter, and if necessary speak to the press and to the EU authorities.

    The World Bank should look into this case very closely as well. Besides Gasol, there is Siemens involved here. Siemens had been black listed by the World Bank for fraud and corruption, and in 2009 reached a settlement agreement where it pledged to cooperate with the World Bank on fighting fraud and corruption in procurement processes. The Prime Minister of Malta is very aware about Siemen’s case with the World Bank.

    • Gary says:

      Excellent post. Just one small observation.

      The gas storage unit itself is OFFSHORE on the ship, whereas the regasification plant is ONSHORE which means that they will need to connect the two systems.

      All of those costings on the Gasol website refer to both being on the ship, the FSRU. Nowhere do they talk about a hybrid solution like this and, subsequently, there are no facts or figures for such a scenario.

      So what are the implications for Konrad’s 24 months and 370 million budget?

      http://www.independent.com.mt/articles/2013-10-13/news/announcement-on-delimara-power-station-preferred-bidder-imminent-2872508420/

      • ciccio says:

        1. Gasol’s own literature – see links in my post above and also in my separate post below – shows that Gasol’s concept of the floating vessel is one of an FSRU – Floating Storage and Regasification Unit. This is a new technology, but there are others who are starting to produce and supply this techonology (e.g. FSRU Toscana, and a couple of FSRU’s developed by Golar LNG) and I can understand that if Gasol does not supply this, someone with an FSRU can do the job even cheaper.

        2. In their document published on their website on 14 October 2013, and later withdrawn, Gasol carried a picture of where they say they will be locating the “FSU.” A copy of that picture is shown in this Malta Independent article here:

        http://www.independent.com.mt/articles/2013-10-17/news/gasols-malta-venture-will-provide-diversification-from-its-current-focus-2911797251/

        That is not an “offshore” FSU, is it?

        Although they call it “FSU” in their document, they also say the following:

        “STSA has joined the consortium as an equity participant and also as a supplier of gas and lessor of the FSU to the project. LNG will be supplied to a mid-sized FSU, which will be docked at Delimara. From this, re-gasified product will be delivered to the existing 149MW plant operated by Enemalta and also to the new 200MW Electrogas owned and operated plant.”

        So, the “FSU” will be provided by STSA (SOCAR Trading SA), and “From this, re-gasified product will be delivered…”
        Therefore, the FSU is also a regasification plant. Hence, it is, or will be, an FSRU.

        3. On 20 December 2012, Gasol made the following public announcement:

        http://www.gasolplc.com/media/17404/strategic_alliance_with_socar.pdf

        In there, it states:

        “Under the terms of the strategic alliance, STSA will supply all Liquefied Natural Gas (“LNG”) required for the Project and assist Gasol with the provision of a floating gas storage and regasification vessel in the harbour at Cotonou, Benin.”

        So it is clear that, according to Gasol, in Benin, STSA will be supplying a FSRU (and gas). This arrangement is so similar to that in Malta that I cannot believe that they plan to do something different in Malta.

        To be 100% sure, we will have to wait until we see concrete documents in front of the MEPA, but I am confident this will be the case.

        I would like to add that in one of the above quotes about the Malta project, Gasol refer to a “a mid-sized FSU.”

        This confirms further my theory that the estimated cost of the proposed FSRU of Euro 142 million (according to Konrad Mizzi) lies nicely somewhere around the middle between Euro 40 and Euro 190 million (the cost range of an FSRU according to Gasol).

    • ciccio says:

      I need to make an important clarification.

      On the subject of “time-to-market” under point 1 in my previous comment, Gasol’s website actually shows a period range of 12-14 months.

      I actually came across the information on the website AFTER consulting their ‘glossy’ Annual Report 2012, which is also published on their website. I regret not including a link to the Annual Report.

      See page 4 in the document here.

      http://www.gasolplc.com/media/15843/gasol_r_a_final.pdf

      It says that the construction period of an FSRU takes between a minimum of 12 and a MAXIMUM of 24 months. This is very boldly presented.

      Unfortunately, when I found the information on the website, I did not realise that instead of 12-24, they are showing 12-14 months. But I do take the 24 months to be more credible, since a range like 12-14 months is too narrow for a range in this sort of business.

      Incidentally, in the last hours, Gasol has also published the ‘glossy’ Annual Report 2013. On page 4 of the document, they now state that the period of construction is 12-18 months. (The value of $40 to $50 million on the same page refers to the value of the typical LNG cargo aboard ship).

      http://www.gasolplc.com/media/18708/gasol_ar2013.pdf

  23. ciccio says:

    You never know where news leads to.

    Gasol says that its strategy in West Africa includes gaining access to the West African Gas Pipeline (WAGP). It is seeking to do so, for the time being, via connections to floating storage and regasification units (FSRU) to be developed in a port in Cotonou, Benin. It will then feed the WAGP from its FSRU. SOCAR SA will be supplying the LNG to the FSRU.

    It turns out that the WAGP is being developed by West African Pipeline Company (WAPCO), a company which is registered in the Bermuda.

    http://www.foei.org/en/resources/publications/annual-report/2007/our-strategic-plan/learning-team-meeting/togo-nigeria-inspiring-west-africans2019-resistance-to-controversial-pipeline

    Seems like all business in Africa leads back to the Triangle these days.

    https://cdn2.content.compendiumblog.com/uploads/user/95edb057-4bc2-441a-97b3-867e74935bc1/bfd06a0e-5b02-4bb7-b0d7-62f24660bb57/Image/9c398955c381d970a32c8ed349be6243/bermuda_triangle_map.jpg

    • ciccio says:

      From the WAPCO website. I hope that Konrad Mizzi took this into account in his due diligence about the new gas plant in Delimara:

      “The West African Gas Pipeline Company (WAPCo) would like to alert the public about incidents of fraudulent schemes and investment scams that misrepresents the West African Gas Pipeline Project Let it be known that WAPCo is the only entity authorised by the relevant West African States to construct a gas transmission pipeline system from Nigeria to Ghana. Any claim by another entity not affiliated to WAPCo, to undertaking similar pipeline construction project is false and fraudulent and should not be relied upon.

      WAPCo being an internationally renowned organisation, is prone to misrepresentations by investment scammers seeking to swindle unsuspecting persons. We therefore advise the public to always crosscheck with WAPCo any information purporting to emanate from WAPCo or that relates to the West African Gas Pipeline Project before such information is acted upon. This includes in particular information about contract award by WAPCo. WAPCo can be contacted through the address given below.”

      http://www.wagpco.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=113&Itemid=114&lang=en

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