Three con­tracts awarded for Malta-Si­cily gas pipe­line; con­struc­tion will not af­fect coastal en­vi­ron­ment

Malta Independent - - News - ■ Albert Galea Gi­u­lia Ma­gri

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.

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