Malta signs energy procurement agreement with Libya
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The Government said in a statement today that “the relationship between Malta and Libya took a quantum leap today with the signing of the memorandum of understanding, which is crucial and beneficial for both countries.”
The deal was announced during a joint press conference between the Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat and his Libyan counterpart Mr Ali Zeidan Mohamed.
Malta will be supplied by Libya with an amount of oil products, including processed and crude oil, diesel, petrol, jet fuel and LPG, with favourable terms and conditions. The agreement will be implemented as soon as oil production in Libya resumes under normal conditions, “in the near future.”
T”his is a very concrete measure by which this Government will make sure that Enemalta is on a sound footing and will help shield Maltese consumers and industries from excessive fluctuations in the world market. It will help us stabilise the price of fuel for the benefit of our economy and of our families. This is a ground breaking memorandum of understanding on which puts forward a number of key agreements which the details will be discussed in the next Joint Commission Meeting in Tripoli,The Prime Minister, Dr Joseph Muscat said.
The agreement also specifies that in the medium to the long term Malta becomes a centre from which Libya can service Europe in the energy sector. “The Maltese Government is resetting the policy objectives of our country.” The Prime Minster said that “now that the interconnector is in place Malta looks forward to become a juncture to the south whereby it can become an energy hub from which Libya can supply energy to Europe.”
“Another important step forward is the agreement to consider joint activity to exploring the potential for oil and gas in disputed areas between our two countries. This goes also hand in hand with an initiative with our Italian partners in the northern part of our territory,” the Prime Minister said.
“Malta will serve as a centre for servicing the Libyan oil and gas industry when it comes to the English Language. The Government will transform the Ta’ Giorni centre and make all the necessary upgrades in the equipment so that Malta can help servicing oil and gas industry in Libya with English Language capabilities.”
The Prime Minsiter explained that Malta now has an energy policy which includes a number of projects that are necessary to Malta in order to ensure Enemalta is a sound institution. “In this manner, Malta will not be totally reliant on the world market for the first time in 22 years.”
He added that this agreement is a “huge step forward which will make Malta’s tourism sector more competitive.”
Dr Muscat pointed out that “if Libya is not in a position to supply us with the refined product, Malta will be able to take the equivalent in crude oil and then make the necessary arrangement ourselves.”
The Prime Minister voiced his concerns about the illegal immigration situation and Mr Zeidan explained that after the revolution security has become an important issue, with Libya facing terrorism across the borders.
Mr Zeidan stated that this has become an international problem and it should be tackled in a very significant way. The Libyan Prime Minister said that cooperation with the European Union is strong and effective but believes that more could be done.
The Prime Minister, announced that Libya has been invited to join forces with the initiatives launched by Malta, Italy and Greece so that Libya has the necessary help to resolve the issue in a multilateral manner.
In the next few weeks the Libyan Transport Minister together with his delegation will visit Malta and discuss with Joe Mizzi, Minister for Transport how to help the Libyan Aviation Industry, through being serviced from Malta and other opportunities that might arise. Other topics which surfaced throughout the discussions were the current conflict in Syria, health and visas.
Mr Zeidan thanked Malta for its significant role during the Libyan revolution and stated that the Libyan Government would like to boost its relationship with Malta, especially when it comes to economy politics, education, culture and technical and also boost the relationship on oil and gas based on the conditions agreed upon.
The Libyan delegation was made up of the Minsiter for Transport and Economy, Minister for Oil and Gas, assistants and the Head of the Office of the Prime Minister of Libya.