Fabian Demicoli

MIP extends PV installations

MIP has today issued a notice that it was extending the
deadline of the Expression of interest (EOI) for the installation of
Photovoltaic Panels on factory roofs in Industrial Parks in Malta and Gozo and
stating that it was awaiting a ruling from the State Aid Monitoring Board. No
further clarifications in relation to the questions made during the
clarification meeting or the meeting held last week between GRTU and MIP were

GRTU immediately expressed its clear concerns on the
EOI with MIP and last week met MIP CEO Joshua Zammit and emphasized that much
more clarification was needed in relation to this EOI. The project requires
some necessary changes as currently no serious bid could be made with the
current state of this EOI and without the necessary information. GRTU's
members, the majority of the sector, all said that if one should adhere to the
conditions of the tender and EU regulations vis-a-vis asbestos and other OHSA
regulations, they could not consider this EOI both in their own merit, as consortia
or even if they involved their foreign partners and mother companies. This
because of very valid reasons which GRTU explained in detail and therefore GRTU
on behalf of its members would have every reason to question any successful bid
at this stage. In its current state fulfilling the requirements of the EOI
without knowing the rate of return, soundness of roofs, other expenses involved
and basic details such as who will own the PV's at the end of the contract,
simply does not make sense.

Well aware of the limitations of the area available
for these kinds of projects GRTU feels that giving Maltese enterprises the
chance to participate is very important. GRTU wants to make sure they do not
lose out on this golden opportunity for other reasons that are beyond our
members' control, such as size of company or past experience that Maltese
companies could not have because of the size of the market. GRTU has already
given MIP suggestions of how this can be worked out.

GRTU's words are backed by its members, the experts in
this sector. Such expertise should not be taken for granted and that is why we
constantly urge the Authorities to effectively involve GRTU and its members
during the drafting phase of such projects so that we avoid these kinds of
situations. Just recently a scheme launched by Malta Enterprise had to be
retreated because of poor consultation and planning and as GRTU we can recall
countless other schemes that concerned this sector which were also evidently
planned by people who did not have enough knowledge of this sector. GRTU has
success stories to tell, one clear example of this are the schemes managed by
MRA. The only people that deserve merit for these successes are our members for
their continuous feedback and goodwill from the authorities and their
employees. There is nothing reasonable that could hinder MIP from following
suit. The expertise we have in our industry is valuable and should be utilized
in the best way possible for the benefit of MIP itself, the tenants, installers
and their employees and the country as a whole. GRTU would be more than happy
to help and avoid the wastage of a great deal of time and money for all parties



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