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MALTA'S Ministry of Energy and Health has become a shareholder in a joint venture of mainboard-listed New Silkroutes Group Limited.
New Silkroutes Group in May this year formed the joint venture IEG Malta Limited with Malta Enterprise Corporation to transform the archipelago south of Italy into an oil and gas trading hub in the Mediterranean.
The 10 per cent held by Malta Enterprise in IEG was transferred to Malta's Ministry for Energy and Health. Consequently, the permanent secretary of the ministry will now sit on the board of IEG, replacing the chairman of Malta Enterprise.
The joint venture is an important milestone in Malta's ambition to become the preferred oil trading hub in the Mediterranean between Europe and Asia, said the Maltese government.
Goh Jin Hian, CEO of New Silkroutes, said the collaboration with the Malta government is timely given the recently concluded EU-Singapore Free Trade Agreement.
"We are on track in collaborating with the government of Malta to develop the Republic as the price discovery centre for energy in the EU and the Mediterranean," he said. "In our transformation, we have focused on setting the pace for IEG to be the leading oil and gas player on the Euro-Asian arena."