New resources for improved electricity services

Enemalta plc completed the development of a new 33 kV electricity distribution centre and new facilities for its technical support teams, as part of an ongoing commitment to increase the quality of its electricity services.

This new €5 million investment at Mriehel is increasing the electricity network’s reliability and capacity in the area’s industrial zone and nearby localities, whilst introducing new resources for over 70 employees who provide technical assistance to the Company’s customers.

On Thursday, Ing. Fredrick Azzopardi, Enemalta plc Executive Chairman and the Company’s management team welcomed the Hon. Joe Mizzi, Minister for Energy and Water Management at Mriehel, to visit the new facilities and meet the employees using them.

This new distribution centre is the fifth of six new distribution centres developed by Enemalta during the last three years. The sixth one, at Ricasoli is nearing completion and will be energised shortly, taking up the total number of 132 and 33 kV distribution centres in Malta and Gozo to 26.

The Mriehel Distribution Centre receives electricity at 33 kV through underground cables from other nearby distribution centres. It includes a 33 kV switchgear room controlling the incoming high voltage feeder cables, and a 15/22.5 MVA transformer to step down electricity to 11 kV. An 11 kV switchgear room controls 10 outgoing feeders, which supply electricity to several 11kV substations in the area and in nearby localities, before it is distributed to customers in different residential and commercial properties.

The distribution centre will reinforce the reliability of service to existing residential and commercial customers in the Mriehel Industrial Zone and nearby areas. At the same time, it is providing the necessary additional capacity to meet the requirements of several large-scale industrial and commercial investments that are being developed nearby.

Next to the distribution centre, Enemalta also built new offices, tool rooms, stores and other facilities for the employees of its Mriehel Regional Office and the Customer Response Section. The Customer Response Section was set up in 2016 as part of a process to strengthen Enemalta’s technical support services to its customers. It includes several teams of highly-trained electricity distribution technicians on duty day and night, seven days a week, to assist customers who experience difficulties in their electricity services. They also assist the Company’s engineers in responding to network difficulties that may affect customers’ electricity services, including natural faults, storm damages or other emergencies.

The six new distribution centres added to the network during the last three years form part of the Company’s €100 million network reinforcement investment launched in 2014. Through this project, Enemalta also upgraded three existing distribution centres with new equipment and extended the country’s underground high voltage network by another 100 kilometres of new high voltage cables. At the same time, the Company installed new switchgear and transformers in over 200 new or existing 11 kV substations, to meet increasing demand in new development areas or to replace old equipment in existing installations.      

Ing. Azzopardi thanked the Enemalta employees and contractors who completed this project in the shortest time possible. “Through the new distribution centre and other similar electricity distribution network reinforcements we are introducing the necessary redundancy and flexibility to reduce the risk of service interruptions. In fact, during the last two years we have registered a 60% drop in the frequency and duration of power cuts across Malta and Gozo.”

“At the same time,” he added, “through the introduction of the Customer Response Section, we have doubled the number of employees dedicated to customers’ requests for new services or other technical assistance. We have already registered significant improvements in this regard as well. Customers applying for new services are now getting connected to the grid in less than 10 days, down from over 30 days two years ago. A few days ago, a European Commission report announced that market studies carried out in Malta confirm that the level of electricity services customer satisfaction increased significantly in recent years, surpassing the EU average.” 

“Enemalta will maintain this effort to increase the quality of its services through different infrastructural and administrative initiatives. We will soon be launching our new Customer Charter, clearly defining the different types of support we can offer, as well as the service levels that our customers can expect to receive when requesting our assistance,” Ing. Azzopardi concluded.