Instrumental to industry, innovation and individuals, the energy and resources sector supplies the elemental source for the full functioning of business and society. As a small island in the Mediterranean Sea, Malta’s main resource has always been its human resources and the island has always relied on imported fuels, making little use of the natural resources such as the wind, the sun and the sea. With increased global awareness on environmental issues, Malta is making significant efforts in order to choose greener options for its Energy & Resources Sector. After its inclusion in the EU, Malta was able to take concrete steps towards diversifying the source of its energy. A number of EU directives and regulations have laid a landscape for cleaner energy, environmental protection and competitiveness in the sector. The present century will be branded as one for sustainability, efficiency and innovation in the energy sector and the equitable utilization of resources.
The Energy & Resources Sector in Malta
As part of Malta’s alignment with EU policies, Parliament set up the Malta Resources Authority (MRA) in 2000. As a public corporate body it has the go-ahead to regulate matters related to this area and to advise Government on matters related to energy, water and mineral resources (including quarrying and oil exploration). Additionally, its role is also to advise, co-ordinate and assist other government entities, to uphold and administer energy legislation and to conduct analyses and assessments of developments in the energy field. Through the MRA, the Maltese Government has launched a number of energy efficiency programmes as part of a holistic energy policy plan.
2014 saw a revamp of Malta’s Energy laws with the introduction of Act XXXIV of 2014. The act caters for the largest ever foreign direct investment in Malta which was made by the Shanghai Electric Group Company Limited which ended the monopoly of the energy market in Malta.
The Energy & Resources Sector in Malta: Our Energy & Resources Team
Chetcuti Cauchi’s Energy & Resources industry group handholds start up clients and major entities in the oil and gas and power and utilities industries to react to industry developments and business issues. Whether it is applying for funding or securing trading and planning permissions, our team can offer a diverse range of expertise to fuel a client’s energy needs. Our firm’s services include legal, tax and advisory work; corporate and structuring work and accounting back office services. These services are tailored to the needs of our clients and thanks to being part of a renowned international network, we can rope in international expertise from other corresponding firms located in the client’s target jurisdiction.
We have advised clients on various aspects of energy and resources projects, including finance, acquisitions and disposals, development, construction, regulation and operations. Benefiting from a mixed team bringing in corporate, regulatory and project expertise, we are able to advise clients through a project’s entire lifecycle. The services we offer the energy & resources sector include legal and consultancy services related to start-ups, re-structurings and M&As, project development and commercial arrangements (through the use of affiliated project management and architectural firms), advisory services related to regulatory aspects and dispute resolution.
Chetcuti Cauchi has an excellent track record and takes a very active role in the Energy & Resources Sector in Malta. In 2014 the Maltese government embarked on a project which would wholly revamp the energy & resources sector in Malta, and Chetcuti Cauchi was directly involved in this prestigious project. This project involved the partial privatisation of Enemalta Corporation and Delimara 3 which is responsible for energy generation and distribution in Malta. The firm represented a private Sector Investor, Shanghai Electric Power which is a subsidiary of China Power International, which acquired stakes in Delimara 3 and Enemalta Corporation (now known as Enemalta p.l.c.). Our Energy & Resources Sector team carried out the necessary due diligence, advised on competition law and implications of the deal, represented the private sector in intensive negations on highly technical matters at the highest levels of Maltese government, carried our contract reviews and created an overarching design of the transaction, among other services. The firm’s thoroughness and attention to detail led for a highly successful transaction.