Introduction to ElectroGas

The Ministry for Energy and Health in Malta published an Energy Roadmap in early 2013, with an aim to overhaul the energy sector and realise significant economic, social and environmental benefits.

Some of the key priorities of this roadmap were:

  • Diversifying Malta’s energy sources
  • Replacement of heavy fuel oil (HFO) with cleaner energy sources (e.g. natural gas)
  • Security of supply and ample levels of reserve capacity for an island grid
  • Stimulating investment in the sector

In April 2013 a call for expressions of interest was made by Enemalta Corporation (now Enemalta plc), the Maltese state owned electricity company, for the supply and delivery of natural gas and electricity to Malta. This was followed by a request for proposals and in October 2013, ElectroGas Malta Consortium (EGM) was selected by Enemalta as the preferred bidder for this contract of national importance for Malta.

The new facility constructed in Delimara has the advantage of using existing land, used for electricity generation, easy network connection access and some sharing of auxiliary services, such as cooling water intake and outtake points.

EGM developed and installed a new electricity generating plant and Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) storage and regasification facilities. The project resulted in two land based operating facilities, one for power generation and one for the processing of LNG to natural gas. The LNG will be stored on the Floating Storage Unit (FSU) moored on the new custom built jetty and associated breasting and mooring dolphin structures. LNG and Boil-Off Gas (BOG) is transferred to shore and is carried out at the jetty by means of transfer hoses and an unloading arm.

The regasification compound operating capacity will be circa 89,000 Nm3/hr of natural gas, sufficient to run at full load both the new EGM owned and operated electricity generating plant (D4), and 8 Wartsila engines which comprise part of Enemalta’s existing plant (D3), which currently uses HFO but, which will soon be converted to run on gas.

The power station is a Combined Cycle Gas Turbine (CCGT) Plant comprising three Siemens SGT-800 gas turbines and one Siemens SST-900 steam turbine, totalling a capacity of 215MW. This configuration meets the requirement for a high degree of availability and flexibility of operation. Both D3 and D4 shall be supplied from the regasification facility and all power generated from D4 shall be sold to Enemalta, who is and shall remain the sole network operator and distributor for electricity in Malta.

EGM owns and operates D4 and the LNG and gas facilities for the duration of the contract term, which is eighteen [18] years from the date of reaching operation of D4 in open cycle mode, and shall thereby become an important component of the security of supply of electricity to Malta. Once constructed, D4 along with the new electricity interconnector between Malta and Sicily shall replace the older, less efficient generators on the island and HFO shall no longer be used as an electricity generation fuel source

EGM is a private limited company with three shareholders of equal shareholding; Siemens Project Ventures GmbH 33.33%, SOCAR Trading SA 33.33%, and GEM Holdings Limited 33.34%.

Siemens Project Ventures GmbH invests in promising infrastructure projects worldwide, focusing on the Energy, Industry and Infrastructure amongst others. Its investments primarily focus on projects in which Siemens plays a key technological role in construction, operation or maintenance usually as a general contractor or supplier of core components. Siemens are providers of the power plant technology and EPC contractors for the CCGT plant for EGM.

SOCAR Trading is the trading arm of SOCAR (State Oil Company of the Azerbaijan Republic), involved in exploring oil and gas fields, producing, processing, and transporting oil, gas, and gas condensate, marketing petroleum and petrochemical products in domestic and international markets, and supplying natural gas to global markets and the public in Azerbaijan. Socar will also be the supplier of LNG pursuant to a sale and purchase agreement executed between Socar and EGM.

GEM Holdings Limited is constituted by three local Maltese businesses with an established track record in bringing large projects to fruition. These are established entrepreneurs including the Gasan Group Limited, Tumas Group of Companies Limited and Associated Drug Limited. With a long history of successful project development, GEM has an important role in ensuring that the project construction and company operation is sensitive to local needs and expectations.

EGM’s shareholders have obtained financing for construction from a consortium of four banks; Bank of Valletta, HSBC, KfW and Societe Generale.

EGM operates as a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) Project Company to construct, commission, operate and maintain the facilities through the negotiation and management of a variety of contracts.

Neil AzzopardiIntroduction to ElectroGas