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History of Gas

Max Farrugia


1869

The M.&M.G. Co. and the government signed a subcontract for the extension of gas lighting to the Wharfs around the Grand Harbour in Valletta.

1882

Malta and Mediterranean Gas Co. signed a new lighting contract. The government reserved the right of deducting any amount of the 848 public lamps existing in Valletta, Floriana and the three Cities that may be lit by electric light.

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1885

In 1885 the Government commissioned a report on the Gas Supply to Malta. During this year a report by Robert Paulson Spice was presented to the Lieutenant Governor, Chief Secretary (Government of Malta) and Mediterranean Gas Company.

1893

The Valletta and Kalkara stations were interconnected and the manufacture of gas was concentrated from the Marsa plant. This was part of the reshuffle to run the company more efficiently and on better economic basis.

1895

During 1895 the Corradino Civil Prison was lit for the first time by means of the gas lighting system.

1896

In 1896 started the supply of gas lighting to the Sliema and Hamrun area. The work involved public lamps and private lighting.

1900-1950

For these years it was very difficult to obtain information locally, research is being carried out abroad.

1950-60

During these ten years Forestals Co. used to import pre-bottled gas from Italy.

1952

The Gas undertaking of the Malta & Mediterranean Gas Company was vested in the Gas Board by the Gas Act (Act XXVI of 1952)

1953

The Gas Board began a subsidiary scheme of laying of gas services, installations and hiring of water heaters and cookers as part of their “Use Gas” promotion campaign.

1954

In 1954 the Gas Board commissioned the first report on the condition of all the gasholders. The Report was prepared by Eng. Bradford of U.K.

1955

Accountant Messina Ferrante prepared a report outlining details for a plant to supply bottled gas for 5000 consumers. He also reported on an installation of an L.P.G. plant for the importation of L.P.G. in bulk to supply propane through the existing mains and the maintenance necessary on the existing Town Gas Plant to upgrade it to a good working order.

1956

Tenders were issued for the Installation of a Gas Plant at Qajjenza in Birzebbugia

1959

The Plant at Birzebbugia was completed and ready to operate at full capacity. During this year the transition took place from the process of coal carbonization to the cyclic canalization of oil to produce town gas. The Old Marsa Gas Plant closed for good. Gas was being produced by the new Segas Oil gasification plant that was newly installed. During this year the Gasholder in Gzira was completed and taken over by the Gas Board. Besides, an undersea pipeline was installed at Qajjenza-Birzebbugia to be able to transfer L.P.G. from ship to gasholders.

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1960

The first 148.97tons of L.P.G. arrived in Malta on board the ship Susanne Tholstrup. The amount was enough for three weeks supply. This year saw the first locally bottled gases in 15 kg. cylinders, these were offered to the general public. The first distributors were Messrs F. Borg and Messrs. Manduca.

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1967

The Ferro-Concrete Bottling Shed at Birzebbugia that was erected in 1958 was completely pulled down because it was declared dangerous by normal design and construction. A larger structure was taken in hand during the same year.

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1974

During this year the supply of gas through the “town gas system” closed down for good.

1979

The Gas Division within Enemalta embarked on the conversion of paraffin cookers to L.P.G.. This campaign was very successful.

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1980/1983

During these three years four new spherical tanks of 300 metric tons capacity each and four cylindrical tanks of 140 metric tons each were erected, bringing the maximum storage capacity to 2860 metric tons. These cater for about two months supply.

1996

Enemalta Corporation commissioned a feasiblity study of a pipeline connecting Sicily and Malta for supply of Natural gas.

2001

The decision was taken to start work on resiting the Installation. This was discussed with the Planning Authority and the necessary applications submitted.

2002

Enemalta and SNAM signed an agreement to carry out a feasibility study to establish the technical viability of laying a gas pipeline between Sicily and Malta. (SNAM is a subsidiary of ENI).

2007

A drasic reduction of labour involvement in the production of cylinders and consequently the hardship involved in loading and unloading of the trucks.

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2009

An agreement was signed between Enemalta and Liquigas for the transfer of operations of the gas sector from Enemalta to Liquigas Malta Ltd. In the meantime the gas division was still responsible for the importation, storing and bottling of LPG.

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2010

Easygas started selling gas bulk,gas cylinders and gas fittings operating from Valletta Road Luqa.

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2010

The importation of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) was also passed on to Liquigas Malta Ltd and currently Enemalta is solely responsible for the unolading, storing and bottling of LPG in cylinders and in bulk. This operation will be phased out as soon as Gasco Energy commissions the new storage and bottling plant in Benghajsa which is presently under construction.

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2013

The old Enemalta gas storage and filling plant in Qajjenza, which had been in operation since 1959, has been officially decommissioned following a decontamination process supervised by the Control of Major Accident Hazards (COMAH) competent authority.

In 2009, Enemalta and Gasco Energy Ltd, a joint venture between Multigas Limited and Liquigas S.p.A. of Italy, signed a concession agreement whereby Enemalta transferred the management and operation of its LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) activities to Gasco Energy Ltd and Liquigas Malta Ltd.

In fulfillment of the obligations set out in the terms and conditions of that agreement, Gasco Energy built – in a span of two years – a new fully certified LPG bottling and storage facility at Bengħajsa with an investment of €20 million. The new storage and bottling plant, officially inaugurated last November, fully respects the EU stringent criteria as established in the Seveso II Directives.

Following the commissioning of the new Gasco Energy LPG facility, work started on the decommisioning of the Qajjenza plant, which had stopped operating in July 2012.

Following the results of the air quality analysis carried out on all the Qajjenza storage tanks, showing that there is no trace of combustibles, the COMAH competent authority (CA) certified that the site is gas-free. The site continued to be monitored by the CA until all the empty tanks and ancillary equipment are removed.

 

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