Six areas outside Malta’s territorial waters identified for offshore wind farms

Government seeks public consultation on National Policy for the Development of Offshore Renewable Energy, which identifies areas and sets parameters for floating clean energy projects

Updated at 12:26pm with more details

Six potential areas outside Malta’s 12-mile territorial waters have been identified for floating renewable energy projects in a national policy released for public consultation today.

The policy document sets out government’s vision to encourage private investment in large renewable energy projects in Malta’s Exclusive Economic Zone.

The six areas outside Malta's 12-mile territorial waters identified for floating renewable energy projects in the EEZ
The six areas outside Malta's 12-mile territorial waters identified for floating renewable energy projects in the EEZ

Areas 1 to 3 are along Malta’s east and southeast coast, while Area 4 is to the south. Area 5 is along Malta’s west coast, while Area 6 is to the northwest of Gozo. All areas are massive and found outside territorial waters. They would require the projects to incorporate floating technology.

The areas take into account the depth of the sea, wind strength, marine traffic and other environmental constraints.

Energy Minister Miriam Dalli said the policy document is testament to “government’s political willingness to go climate-neutral by 2050”. The policy will give potential investors peace of mind, she added.

After the document is finalised tenders will be issued and bidders are expected to submit a technical offer that includes mooring, installation capacity, and timeline of project deliverables, procurement, commissioning, operation and decommissioning; and a financial offer with estimated budget and bid price.

The tendering procedure would grant specific rights and obligations in EEZ designated areas for new commercial offshore renewable project developments.

The agreement will give the developer the rights to construct and operate the offshore infrastructure subject to then obtaining all necessary approvals, permits, licenses and clearances from the relevant national authorities.

The offer of the blocks earmarked for offshore renewable project development will be made through an open competitive process.

The document makes it clear that Enemalta will remain the sole distributor of electricity and it will offer connection points for electricity cables at the Delimara power station site in Marsaxlokk, the Magħtab terminal station at Naxxar, and the Marsaskala converter station. The latter connection point is still being studied though.

Asked about the expected timeframes for the first tenders to be issued, the minister said these would be in the “coming months” once the consultation is ended and the document finalised.