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Wednesday, 9 July 2008 - Strasbourg OJ edition

Explanations of vote

Text tabled : A6-0257/2008

  John Attard-Montalto (PSE), in writing. − The position I have taken reflects my opinion regarding the importance of natural gas and its availability for consumers at the lowest possible price. A gas pipeline is going to unite Libya and Sicily. This will pass in the vicinity of Malta so that, in order for my country to benefit, it will have to either join the pipeline or, as has been proposed, there will have to be a pipeline from Sicily to Malta. My country does not have a large domestic market and its consumption varies between 16 to 18 million units annually. Should the use of natural gas become more widespread, it will no doubt change the policy on energy in both Malta and Gozo. This can take place if gas is used in the production of energy itself. I drew the attention of the then Nationalist Government to the importance of having gas-powered stations some 15 years ago.

The government did not pay any heed and eventually installed only one small gas-powered station as an extension. Also, as distances in Malta are small, it is feasible to use gas for the propulsion of private and commercial vehicles. The conversion of vehicle engines is not a problem. Also gas is much cheaper and much cleaner than petrol or diesel. But the government and its agency, EneMalta, have not even considered the infrastructure needed regarding its distribution.

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