Sheathed in their sleek and shiny towers, Max, Maximilian, Anna and Vilhelmina represent the future of Malta. These three industrial gas turbines and one steam turbine – named for Swedish saints at their birthplace in Finspång – are the most visible representation of a new power plant project bringing cleaner, more reliable and flexible energy to this small Mediterranean country.
Malta has been a cultural crossroads for more than 5,000 years, but its popularity as a tourist attraction has exploded recently, driving the demand for more – and cleaner – energy. For decades, the country’s electricity had been provided by turbines on a plant site called Delimara, across the bay from picturesque Marsaxlokk in southeastern Malta. The outdated turbines were powered by heavy fuel oil – unclean, unsustainable, unreliable, and expensive.
The system was unclean and unsustainable because “heavy fuel oil is one of the most polluting energy fuels around,” explains Franz Dörfler, CEO of ElectroGas Malta Ltd (EGM), developer of the new power project. The plant was unreliable because of Malta’s growing economy. The stage was set for a new approach.