Malta will be receiving €3.7 million in EU funding for the interconnector gas pipeline studies.
The Energy and Water agency submitted its funding proposal for the Malta-Italy gas pipeline in October 2017, and received the positive news through the European Commission on Thursday.
Its application came first out of 25 member state applications. The application was assessed on a number of core criteria, such as integrating energy markets in order to strengthen the single market, ensuring security of supply and ending energy isolation.
Malta has so far been cut off from the European energy grid, however the completion of this project will change this, in line with the EU’s core security and stability aims.
The sum will cover nearly half the costs required to carry out all the necessary studies, such as an environmental impact assessment, a preliminary marine route survey for the entire 150km offshore route and the ‘front-end engineering’ design of the pipeline.
This is the third time that Malta has gained support under the Connecting Europe Facility (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.
Preparation works to begin detailing the tender specifications for the building of the pipeline itself are expected to take around two years, Energy Minister Joe Mizzi said.