Survey of Malta-Sicily interconnector damage underway

6th January 2020 

On Sunday evening, parts of Malta experienced a brief power-outage.

A ship is currently surveying the damage recently caused to the Malta-Sicily interconnector resulting in significant power-outages over the last weeks of 2019. The survey ship arrived on schedule, some 16 nautical miles off the cost of Sicily in international waters.

On Sunday morning, Enemalta announced to Facebook that “The Polar King vessel, which was commissioned to conduct a survey to establish the extent of the damage caused, arrived at its destination at 2.45am”.

The ship’s assessment of the damage is expected to take 36 hours, and is intended to identify the cause of the damage to the interconnector. The company initially said that illegal anchorage may have caused the damage, which will be confirmed by the survey ship.

"At present Enemalta plc and Nexans engineers are on board this vessel to monitor the process being carried out during which they will be able to analyse the footage being taken and transmitted on board the ship," Enemalta wrote on Facebook.

The company said that this part of the process is “critical” as it would provide a clear point of departure on the next steps required to fix the damage.

At this stage, Enemalta is depending on two gasoil-fired plants at Delimara to maintain electricity supply. The company had said in a press conference that the public can expect power outages in January when demand for electricity increases. On Sunday evening, parts of Malta, including Swatar, parts of Qormi and Birkirkara experienced a brief power cut.

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Survey of Malta-Sicily interconnector damage underway