- The pre-application procedure which starts from the date that the written acknowledgement from the last Competent Authority is received and ends with the acceptance of the submitted application file by the Project Promoter to the Competent Authority.
- The statutory permit granting procedure which covers the period until the comprehensive decision is taken by the Competent Authorities.
The TEN-E Regulation states that every European Union Member State is to set up a ‘One Stop Shop’ to deal with the permitting process of the PCI projects and stipulates a maximum time frame of 3.5 years for both procedures. The Competent Authorities for the above procedure are the Planning Authority for Malta and the Ministry of Economic Development (Ministero Dello Sviluppo Economico – MISE) for Italy.
This was followed with the issuance of the terms of reference of the EIA studies by the Italian and Maltese Authorities. MTG Co., supported by the joint venture composed by the international consultancy companies AIS, VDP and CESI, is currently undertaking the permitting activities including environmental impact studies and related actions. The Environmental Impact Assessment and Appropriate Assessment covering the Maltese side have been completed and submitted to the Competent Authority in February 2020.
Additionally, as part of the permitting process, and following request from the Italian authorities during the permitting process, MTG are in the process of carrying out a baseline ecological study both for the onshore and offshore areas of Gela and also an onshore geophysical survey specifically aimed at identifying any remains of archaeological nature along the proposed onshore route.
11/2015. Start of the Preparatory Activities for Permitting Granting Process
06/2017. Completion of the Preparatory Activities for Permitting Granting
Process – Route Identification Study and Preliminary Environmental Impact Assessment
30/03/2018. Start of Project Scoping Public Consultation Period in Italy and Malta
10/04/2018. Public Consultation Meeting in Marsaxlokk (Malta)
17/04/2018. Public Consultation Meeting in Gela (Sicily – Italy)
18/04/2018. Public Consultation Meeting in Palermo (Sicily – Italy)
19/04/2018. Public Consultation Meeting in Rome (Italy)
20/05/2018. End of 1st Public Consultation Period
22/10/2018. Start of Permitting Activities including EIA in Malta and Italy
28/08/2020. Submission of the EIA and AA to the Maltese Competent Authority
15/03/2020. Launching of public consultation for EIA/AA in Malta by the Competent Authority
26/04/2020. Transboundary Consultation process launched by the Competent Authorities
Statutory Permitting Procedure (planned)
Q2/2020 — Submission and start of validation of the Full Application files
Q3/2020 – Q3/2021 Public Consultations in Malta and Italy
Q4/2021. Issuance of Permits
Feature published on https://www.tvm.com.mt/en/ giving an update of the project status at the time of the interviews held on the 6th of June 2020.
Through a careful analysis of the various options for the hydrogen ready pipeline route, the most significant impacts on the various environmental components were reduced to a minimum, with a view to choosing the one that creates the least interference. The impacts associated with the construction of the hydrogen ready pipeline and the related infrastructure are mainly temporary and located within the working zones. The few and minor permanent impacts are instead limited to the sites of the above ground terminal stations and block valve stations.
The above table was enhanced by the compilation of the EIA and AA documents which formed an integral part of the permitting processes.
The first version of the documents for the Maltese side of the project have been provided to the Environmental and Resource Authority (ERA) in Malta. These documents are publicly available on the following link.
The corresponding set of documents covering the Italian side of the project will be submitted to the respective Competent Authorities in the coming months.
- 10/04/2018: Public Consultation Meeting in Marsaxlokk (Malta)
- 17/04/2018: Public Hearing in Gela (Sicily)
- 18/04/2018: Public Hearing in Palermo (Sicily)
- 19/04/2018: Public Hearing in Rome (Italy)
The following documents were made available prior to the start of the public consultation:
The feedback received in general was positive in both countries with some minor concerns expressed about environmental, archaeological and safety features. Clarifications were requested regarding the advantages of the project for the Maltese and for the territory of Gela. The answers provided have clarified the purpose of the project and the positive effects on the Maltese and Italian side. A public consultation report with the conclusions from this activity was also compiled. All the comments raised were inserted in the FEED’s scope of work as to mitigate the impacts envisaged.
All completed and ongoing activities including the marine survey, FEED and environmental studies were conducted in close consultation with the Maltese Authorities, Sicilian Regional Authorities, Central Italian Government Authorities, all interested stakeholders, local communities and NGOs.
A second round of public consultations will be held during the statutory procedure of the permitting process in 2020 and 2021 i.e. before the issuance of development permit.
- The Maltese interested parties/ general public will be able to submit their comments on the part of the project located within both Italian and Maltese territory.
- Similarly, the Italian interested parties/ general public will be able to submit their comments on the part of the project located within both Italian and Maltese territory.