Government identifies six areas for wind or solar farm / Malta News Briefing – Thursday 31 August 2023

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Government identifies six areas for wind or solar farms Government has launched its inaugural national policy concerning offshore renewable energy, initiating a period of consultation. The policy envisions the establishment of the first wind or solar floating farms situated within a range of 12 to 25 nautical miles from the island’s coastline. Six potential locations have been identified for these floating farms. The public consultation, which commenced today, will extend until the end of September. Subsequently, the collected feedback will undergo evaluation, leading to an international call for expressions of interest and the subsequent shortlisting of potential bidders. These selected bidders will then participate in a subsequent request for proposals, as detailed by Energy Minister Miriam Dalli during the launch of the National Policy for Offshore Renewable Energy Deployment. (Times of Malta)

SMEs concerned with business disruption from roadworks: Abigail Mamo, the CEO of the Chamber of SMEs said that several businesses are voicing their apprehensions about road construction projects that extend beyond the expected completion time, leading to months of disruptions for enterprises. Mamo clarified that the majority of road projects are accomplished within the designated timeframe while striving to minimize the adverse effects on neighbouring businesses. However, when road works span several months, they present substantial challenges. These extended disruptions not only hinder customer access during construction but also pose logistical complications, turning activities like unloading into logistical challenges. (Maltatoday)

PN expresses concern as nation paying €4m weekly in interest rates: The Nationalist Party expressed concern that Malta is expending €4 million each week to cover the accrued debt, which has surged to €9.4 billion as of July. Finance spokesperson Jerome Caruana Cilia cited NSO statistics that indicate a growth of €838.4 million in debt since July 2022. The party advocated for the government to address the issue of a “tax on corruption” and to rectify the nation’s financial status to a sustainable level. Up until the close of 2019, Malta’s debt stood at €5.7 billion, but it has subsequently escalated by €3.7 bn to its current total of €9.4 bn. (The Malta Independent)

Morning Briefing

Govt won’t support business who rely solely on foreign workers – PM

PM Robert Abela said that the government will not extend support to operators whose business model solely revolves around importing foreign workers. This declaration comes shortly after the reports indicated that the government was considering a series of measures to curtail the presence of non-EU nationals in Malta. During a radio address to party supporters, Abela emphasized that social advancement is intrinsically tied to economic growth. He underscored that sectors necessitating foreign workers contribute significantly to this growth, as the local workforce supply does not adequately fulfill the existing demand. “We will stand up to the operators who are not willing to follow this strategic economic direction and instead, continue to base their business model on the importation of foreign workers who are returned to their home country when they’ve had enough of them… we are not willing to accept this mode of employment”, he argued. (Times of Malta)

Malta tops Internet-TV charts

Malta has taken the top spot in the ranking of countries with the highest rate of internet-connected TV usage, as reported by Eurostat. Reflecting the growing significance of internet-connected devices in modern life, the usage of these devices has surged from 2020 to 2022, according to a statement from Eurostat on Wednesday. In 2022, more than half (52%) of individuals aged 16 to 74 in the EU utilized an internet-connected TV, marking a 9-percentage point increase from 2020’s figure of 43%. Among the EU countries, the usage of an internet-connected TV was notably high in Malta where almost 8 out of 10 people used an internet-connected TV (78%), followed by Spain (69%), Sweden and Ireland (both 68%) and Cyprus (66%). (The Malta Independent)

Minister says reports Enemalta CEO was dismissed are untrue

Reports regarding the dismissal of Enemalta CEO Jonathan Cardona from the state-owned company have been refuted by Energy Minister Miriam Dalli. Dalli insisted that Cardona is continuing his work and has not been ousted from his position at Enemalta. During a press conference on Wednesday, she responded to media inquiries, reiterating his pivotal role in the ongoing project aimed at enhancing the nation’s energy distribution network. The Nationalist Party also called on government to clarify the situation on Cardona’s alleged sacking, but Dalli insisted these allegations were “baseless”. (Maltatoday)

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