Austin Gatt replies …In his usual decorous fashion
I refer to the front page article entitled “Paying twice for electricity” published in your newspaper on Wednesday, 8 October, 2008. The writer is fundamentally wrong and since it cannot be believed that a business newspaper is so thoroughly incompetent in accounting matters it must be suspected that the newspapers assume its readers suffer from such an incompetence.
Consumers are not being asked to pay twice for the electricity cost of desalinating seawater. This is the limpid, lucid truth.
The financial estimates of Enemalta and Water Services Corporation charges which Business Today misreads show that the former expects to charge the latter for providing it for electricity. The WSC would then factor the cost it expects to pay Enemalta in the tariffs it charges consumers. The end consumer pays once for the cost of electricity used by RO Plants, not twice. It does not take a particularly expert business newspaper to figure such a thing out.
Ministry for Infrastructure, Transport and Communications
Editorial Note: Instead of embarking on a tirade of insults, the Ministry would have done everybody a big favour if it were to come out with a clear explanation.
The KPMG report clearly states that the principle aim of the new tariff structure is for Enemalta and Water Services Corporation to recoup all costs of generation and distribution from end consumers.
Part of the bill consumers would be paying WSC includes the cost of electricity the company would have purchased from Enemalta to operate its reverse osmosis plants.
But with Enemalta intending to recoup all costs of generation, including the hefty portion that goes to WSC, end-consumers are again being asked to pay for the electricity consumed by the RO plants when they pay their electricity bill to Enemalta.
In the absence of a logical and clear explanation we stand by our story.