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A €55 million government contract dished out to a consortium linked to Gozitan developer Joseph Portelli must be rescinded over concerns that a bidder offering the same work for €18 million cheaper had been disqualified.

The contract, which looks to construct a quay and cargo handling facilities at Ras Ħanzir, was awarded to a Portelli-linked consortium, Excel Sis for €55.4 million.

Bonnici Brothers objected to the tender with the Public Contracts Review Board cancelling the decision, ordering the creation of a new evaluation committee for the project.

Excel Sis has been intimately involved in the development of Malta’s road network and involves Portelli, Gozitan businessmen Mark Agius and Daniel Refalo, Kurt Buttigieg, James Fenech, and a Turkish company.

Both Portelli and the Bonnici Brothers, have been linked to the government deals, with both pocketing millions from government projects and direct orders.

Portelli, however, remains a controversial figure in Malta’s construction sector, with the public concerned over his closeness to Malta’s politicians.

What do you think of the deal?