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Streamcast ordered to pay Malta state utility €400,000 over botched €75m data centre project

Written by Wed 4 Nov 2020

But Enemalta is unlikely to receive any money from the defunct video streaming business

An Indian streaming business that partnered with Enemalta to build an underground data centre has been ordered to pay the state utility over €400,000 in contractual dues.

In 2017, Streamcast Technologies announced it would invest €75 million transforming an Enemalta power station in the town of Marsa into a Tier IV facility.

Although Streamcast leased space for the facility, racked up millions of euros in electricity and internet fees, and completed the first phase of the development, the project was never completed before the streaming business was sold for €2 million in 2019 and the site remains abandoned.

Now a Maltese court has told the shadowy company, which appears to have had no track record of selling streaming services when it landed the €75 million deal, to fork out €422,000 for leasing space at the power station.

Malta’s sole utility filed a claim in February for €157,551 in contractual dues, €219,480 for use of infrastructure and €34,230 for energy bills. Part of the debts related to a private agreement for leasing two fibre optic cables from the Malta-Sicily subsea interconnector.

During a site inspection in 2019 Enemalta discovered technical damage and instructed Streamcast to rectify the damage as it presented a fire risk, CEO Jason Vella told the court. After Streamcast said it couldn’t provide anyone to fix the damage Enemalta cut electricity to the facility where it remains disconnected.

The court upheld Enemalta’s claim that Streamcast had breached contract by abandoning the site and ordered the company to pay the fees due with legal interest.

In February, Maltese online news platform TheShift revealed Streamcast had also been sued €300,000 by telecommunications operator Melita for unpaid internet fees after it was provided a fibre optic internet connection in 2018. Streamcast racked up €294,623 in arrears before its connection was terminated.

Another TheShift investigation revealed that instead of being a major player in the global video streaming services market, Streamcast was basically nothing more than a website (set up online in the US State of Delaware) with a glittering history confected for it by a Maltese PR agency, a narrative lapped up by the public and press – including Techerati (named The Stack at the time).

In turns out Streamcast was a castle built on a stack of shell companies, whose owners exploited the Enemalta project to raise the value of Streamcast before it was sold for €2 million in 2019 to Indian satellite broadcaster Iris Mediaworks Ltd (now Jump Networks).

Written by Wed 4 Nov 2020

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