Malta to get second electricity interconnector by 2025 after Cabinet green-lights project

Energy Minister Miriam Dalli announces that government has approved a €170 million investment in a second 200MW interconnector to Ragusa

Malta will get a second interconnector to Sicily by 2025 after Cabinet approved the €170 million investment
Malta will get a second interconnector to Sicily by 2025 after Cabinet approved the €170 million investment

Malta is set to get a second interconnector with Ragusa after Cabinet approved the investment in a 200MW cable, Energy Minister Miriam Dalli said.

The new cable will run in parallel to the existing interconnector that connects the Magħtab station in Malta with the Ragusa station. Both stations were built to accommodate two cable connections.

Dalli said that a study undertaken by France Electric showed that the most feasible option to meet the projected growth in electricity demand was a second interconnector of 200MW.

The project is expected to cost €170 million and will help cut emissions from the energy sector by 58%. It is expected to be completed in 2025.

Dalli said alternative connection sites in Calabria (mainland Italy), Tunisia and Greece were also studied but they proved to carry higher risks and were more expensive.

This project will not substitute government’s intention to continue investing in other sources of energy such as hydrogen, Dalli added.

Demand for electricity grew by 18% in four years and in a post-COVID recovery, Malta was expecting demand to continue increasing.

The electrification of the transport sector, the shore-to-ship electricity supply and economic growth will increase demand.

Demand is expected to grow from 2,500GWH to 3,000GWH and peak demand will grow to 538MW in six years’ time from 445MW.

Dalli said that the interconnector will ensure that Malta will have enough energy to meet the growing demand by 2025.

In reaction to government's announcement, the Nationalist Party pointed out that it had proposed the introduction of a second interconnector in its strategy plan launched in February.

"It was the Nationalist Party in January 2020 that spoke of the need to introduce a second interconnector as a needed step to be taken immediately," the party said in a statement.

The PN went on to note that Enemalta was already planning for a second interconnector before the Labour Party entered government, as evident its Electricity Generation Plan 2006-2015.

"News of a second interconnector continues to build on the Nationalist Party's long-term energy plan."

Overall, the PN welcomed news of a second interconnector, but remarked that the present interconnector's usage fell from 87% to 25% when the Electrogas station came into operation.

"This does not bode well for the second interconnector, which despite offering the lowest electricity rates, is being curbed due to the contract with Electrogas, which stipulates that we must buy 70% of our energy at high prices."