Another milestone in the planning of the Malta-Italy gas pipeline interconnection project – Malta ranks first
The Malta-Italy gas pipeline interconnection project was ranked first, and was consequently awarded a grant of €3,680,000 – 50% of the total eligible cost – for further studies under the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) in the field of trans-European energy infrastructure.
The main objectives for which funding was awarded are the acquisition of the Maltese and Italian permits; the decision on cross-border cost allocation; the execution of a preliminary marine route survey and the front-end engineering design, followed by the tender preparation for an engineering, procurement and construction contract.
During a press conference, Minister for Energy and Water Management Joe Mizzi said that this is the third time that Malta has gained support under the CEF, as in 2015 a total of €400,000 were awarded for a study to be carried out to address the conceptual design and route identification for the interconnection, together with the preparation of the scoping reports for both Malta and Italy.
Furthermore, in 2017, a maximum of €600,000 were awarded under the CEF Synergy call to study the potential introduction of LNG bunkering in Malta.
The Energy and Water Agency within the Ministry for Energy and Water Management submitted the application for funding in October 2017, and was found to be successful for obtaining funds to carry out the next studies and continuing to implement the European Project of Common Interest.
In total, 25 proposals were submitted under the CEF call, 17 of which were recommended for financial support, having a total available fund of €2.27 billion.
CEO of the Energy & Water Agency Daniel Azzopardi remarked that the award for the obtained funding is once again a clear indicator that the European Commission believes in the project that Malta is implementing: that of connecting Delimara (Malta) to Gela (Sicily, Italy) by means of a gas pipeline interconnection. This is aimed at ending Malta’s isolation from the European gas network, and thus contributing towards the EU’s ultimate goal to ensure a well-connected EU gas network.
Minister Joe Mizzi thanked all the staff members involved for their hard work to once again secure funding and proceed with a steady pace towards the realisation of the Malta-Italy gas pipeline interconnection project – a key building block of Malta’s energy policy, aimed at securing energy supply, sustainability and affordability for all.
The press conference was also addressed by engineer Alexandra Meli who presented an overview of the project timelines as well as details on the studies involved.