Last Updated on Wednesday, 26 May, 2021 at 1:54 pm by Andre Camilleri
A number of initiatives have been launched by Minster for Energy, Enterprise and Sustainable Development Miriam Dalli to support enterprises to invest in sustainable and energy efficient operations.
The initiatives were launched during a press conference held at the Valletta Design Cluster, where representatives from the Malta Chamber of Commerce and the Chamber of SMEs and representatives of the main banks—Bank of Valletta, APS and HSBC—were present. Also in attendance were representatives from the Energy and Water Agency, the Regulator for Energy and Water Services (REWS) and Malta Enterprise. The synergy between the government and private entities will help our country to continue implementing change in favour of sustainability.
“Today’s initiative is a result of continuous work and collaboration between the Government, entities and stakeholders. We will continue to enhance the collaboration between different entities and partners, such as industry representatives and banks, to keep on ensuring the implementation of investments in favour of sustainable economy,” said Minister Miriam Dalli.
One of the main initiatives refers to the scheme managed by EWA, where companies may receive up to €5,000 for an energy audit. This auditing will be beneficial for the companies, allowing them to make efficient use of energy and to consume less. Through this auditing, companies will also be guided on how to benefit from current schemes offered by different entities.
In a second scheme managed by Malta Enterprise, €15 million are being allocated to help small and medium enterprises with projects that ensure energy efficiency (Investment Aid for Energy Efficiency Projects). This scheme directly finances investment in machinery and modern operations and can cover between 40% and 50% in eligible value.
Energy auditors will also prepare a sustainability report, providing companies with the visibility of the three main sustainability pillars: environment, social, and governance. This report will give a clear picture of what type of investment is best to carry out the company, in order to avoid investment by crisis. This allows the company to plan ahead.
SMEs are also being encouraged to participate in a third scheme managed by REWS, to invest in renewable energy projects of between 40KW and 1MW. The investment is of €50 million spread over 20 years, in line with the lifetime of the feed-in tariff.
Local banks are also working and sharing the government’s vision to sustain sustainable investment, through the launch of the so-called green loans. In fact, two local banks have unlocked €54 million in loans for this aim.
The President of Chamber of Commerce Marisa Xuereb, President of Chamber of SMEs Paul Abela and the Bank of Valletta Chairman Dr. Gordon Cordina addressed the press conference.
Marisa Xuereb and Paul Abela stressed the importance of guiding enterprises to invest in sustainability. They praised the fact that a number of initiatives have been brought together, as this will facilitate such investment.
Dr Cordina argued that the way forward for economic recovery was through more sustainable means by which businesses provide their products and services. He said this was essential for long-term competitiveness. “Banks will be at the forefront with innovative solutions at European level on the type of support we will be giving to businesses,” said Dr Cordina.
Chief Business Officer Anthony Buttigieg attended on behalf of APS, whilst Head of Corporate Sustainability Caroline Buhagiar Klass attended on behalf of HSBC.