[WATCH] €150 million plant to be opened by 2023: location still unknown

The waste-to-energy plant, to be completed by 2023, will incinerate non-recyclable materials and withdraw electrical energy from the fumes emitted

Minister for the Environment and Sustainable Planning addressed the press at the Mdina, discussing waste management alternatives (Photo: James Bianchi/MediaToday)
Minister for the Environment and Sustainable Planning addressed the press at the Mdina, discussing waste management alternatives (Photo: James Bianchi/MediaToday)
€150 million incinerator to be opened by 2023

A €150 million plant is to replace the current Magħtab landfill, Minister for the Environment and Sustainable development Josè Herrera has announced.

The waste-to-energy plant, to be completed by 2023, will incinerate non-recyclable materials and withdraw electrical energy from the fumes emitted. It will likely not function like a traditional incinerator, Herrera said, but will rather take all viable modern technology into account.

A technical committee, made up of environmentalists, technical experts and NGO representatives, has until the end of this year to decide on the preferred technology the plant will make use of. WasteServ CEO Tonio Montebello has been appointed as the committee’s chairman.

"The research group however, will not have a direct say on the final decision as that is up to the Government's discretion," Herrera said.

Nationalist MP Karol Aquilina has refused to be part of the committee.

“We need to continue to invest in waste management,” says Herrera. “It’s concerning that Malta currently produces four times more waste annually than the rest of the EU.”

In a statement to MaltaToday, Herrera admitted that an incinerator is a "viable alternative".

Current landfill Magħtab will no longer be viable after 2019, when the area will reach maximum capacity. A smaller landfill in the site currently used for hazardous waste will replace Magħtab until the waste to energy project is completed in 2023.

The plant will take care of around 40 per cent of Malta's waste and is set to take care of non-recyclable material.

Updated with PN MP Karol Aquilina's comments

"The Opposition is not part of the executive," PN MP Karol Aquilina said, arguing that the PN's role is "limited" to scrutinising the Government.

In a statement to MaltaToday, the MP said that the technical commitee that the Government has created is outside the responsibilities of the Opposition.

"The Opposition is ready to publicly contribute [to the discussion], with the aim of assuring that the state's decitsions are in the best interest of our country and future generations," Aquilina stated.

 

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