Three contracts awarded for Malta-Sicily gas pipeline; construction will not affect coastal environment
and Three new contracts were awarded for the Malta-Sicily gas pipeline project, Minister for Energy and Water Management Joe Mizzi announced at a press conference at the pipeline’s landfall point in Kalanka, Delimara yesterday.
The pipeline will supply natural gas to Malta from Gela in Sicily via an approximately 151km long 22inch concrete coated undersea gas pipeline. Throughout the year the project has undergone numerous detailed studies and Mizzi said that the actual implementation of the project is the next step.
The first contract was awarded to an Italian specialised company Lighthouse SpA, who saw the realisation of a Preliminary Marine Route Survey, a detailed underwater study of the seabed for the whole proposed route. The study will also collect seabed samples along the offshore route, which will then be further tested. The Maltese company AIS Environment Ltd, supported by two separate Italian companies, CESI SpA and VDP Srl were also awarded to follow detailed studies on the Environmental Impact Assessment for both countries.
The third tender was awarded to an Italian joint venture compromising of TechfemSpA and Systems Projects Services Srl. Mizzi said that the Joint Venture will be responsible for conducting the Front End Engineering Design (FEED), therefore responsible to provide engineering design of components covering the off-shore and on-shore routes of both Delimara and Gela.
Pipeline will not affect Malta’s coast environment
Landfall for the pipeline in Malta is located on a Site of Ecological Importance (SEI) with the coastal fringe considered as a coastal garigue. The Marsaxlokk bay is a Natura 2000 site, which lies north of the project area. The Minister stressed that the area shall not be affected, as the mitigation measures do not affect the ground surface.
A 0.7km concrete coated 22inch underground pipeline will be crossing the Delimara peninsula through a trenchless method known as Horizontal Direction Drilling (HDD) from the Malta landfall point at Kalanka into a new terminal station built within the grounds of the Delimara power station.
Preliminary Project timeline is that by 2019 the submission of Full Application files to Maltese and Italian Competent Authorities. The following year, the Ministry aims to secure all permits so then to apply for the correct funding. Mizzi said that the plan is that by 2020 Malta would apply for EU co-financing for the construction of the pipeline, which will run up an estimated cost of €350 million. The completion date for the new project, Mizzi hoped, is 2024.