Something exciting has been happening in Marsaxlokk over the past four years. Certainly, the air is cleaner, and the environment is much healthier – but there is also an interesting cross cultural exchange with investors from distant China, as well as a new dynamic collaboration which is creating a better understanding by developing relationships.
Located within Delimara Power Station, D3 Power Generation Ltd (D3PG), endeavours to achieve efficiency and notably cleaner energy, whilst collaborating with Maltese suppliers and developing a good rapport with the surrounding communities.
D3PG is a subsidiary of Shanghai Electric Power (Malta), founded four years ago as an energy cooperation platform with the Maltese Government with the objective of becoming a diversified energy provider, offering reliable, economic, and clean energy products that constitute the backbone of the socio-economic development of any modern and forward-looking nation.
Following the conversion of the engines of what used to be called the BWSC plant from heavy fuel oil (HFO) to work with either liquefied natural gas (LNG) or light fuel oil (LFO), emissions from D3 are now drastically below the required minimum levels, contributing to a healthier environment. And D3 has obtained the ISO14001 certification for the controlled impact on the environment.
Stated D3PG’s Chief Executive Mr Zhichao Chen, “We are already fulfilling the vision of our company ‘Greener Energy, Better Life’. The practical benefit for the neighbouring communities, first and foremost, is that both residents and visitors, are today enjoying clean air 365 days a year. In a tangible and meaningful way, D3PG, working hand in hand with its counterparts in Delimara Power Station, is enhancing the quality of life here.’’
The D3PG daily operation significantly relies on Malta-based suppliers therefore community relations were given a great weight by D3PG from the outset. Mr Chen explained how the company remains grateful for the invaluable input from the local community since the early planning phase. During the application process for the Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control (IPPC) regulatory system, which employs an integrated approach to control any potential environmental impacts, D3PG received plenty of good advice from residents in nearby localities. “At D3PG, we are equally committed towards maintaining the level of understanding that has been generated in such a short span of time’’ said Mr Chen.
D3PG believes that its sustainable development has to be valued in the context of the local community as the residents’ interest and concern are always shared. During the public consultation, for example, local residents expressed their concern for safety, and this is a top priority for D3PG as well. The entire D3 power plant is CE certified, and it meets all the requirements of ATEX Equipment Directive 2014/34/EU and ATEX Workplace directive 1999/92/EC, among others. At present, the company is also instituting all the necessary measures to achieve ISO9001 certification. In addition, specific safety training courses catering for the gas operation environment are provided for both the employees and the company’s contractors on a regular basis.
“D3PG employees and contractors hail from six countries. Most of the maintenance and operation personnel in the plant are from Malta. Irrespective of nationality and background however, employees share and uphold the company’s values,” said Mr Zhichao Chen.
Earlier this year, D3PG cooperated with NGO Nature Trust Malta, and under its guidance participated in Malta’s national corporate social responsibility day by cleaning a Natura 2000 wetland site of EU ecological importance called “Il-Ballut ta’ Marsaxlokk”. Apart from clearing marine debris that come in with sea currents, D3PG employees had the opportunity to appreciate the environmental and ecological importance of the area and why such clean-up initiatives are so essential.
Engaging with the University of Malta is also another important pillar of D3PG’s outreach programme as tertiary-level engineering students visit this power generation facility to see at first-hand how Shanghai Electric’s extensive experience is being applied in a Maltese context.
“After four year’s presence here, we believe that we are increasingly connecting, both at national and at community level so this is a practical example of how a company and a community can grow together,” said D3PG’s Chief Executive.
Marsaxlokk Mayor Horace Gauci confirms the improved surroundings. “Today, the air we breathe is better and cleaner than that of a few years ago. We welcome the company as many residents have noticed the significant positive difference D3PG has made in a span of less than four years, also saying ‘you are doing something important as you are breaking down cultural barriers’. Also, we appreciate the fact that, for their community engagement, they have again chosen our picturesque village as the venue for the Chinese Cultural Night festival for the second consecutive year, adding an important element to Marsaxlokk’s vibrant and international atmosphere.”
Held in front of the Marsaxlokk Parish Church, the festival included Chinese performances and cultural experience activities provided by the Chinese Cultural Centre, as well as Chinese traditional medical consultation by Mediterranean Centre for Chinese Traditional Medicine.
With the aim of generating further international exposure for Malta and the neighbouring areas among millions of Chinese viewers, two major Chinese TV stations, namely CCTV and Phoenix, have visited Marsaxlokk to feature both the eco-friendly D3PG energy investment and, at the same time, Malta’s renowned fishing village as a tourist attraction.