Italy issues Malta-Sicily interconnector permit

Changes in cable route after original plan saw cable passing through Italy oil exploration territory.

Former Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi visiting the interconnector site.
Former Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi visiting the interconnector site.

Rome has issued the Malta-Sicily interconnector permit after a problem with regard to the cable route has now been resolved.

In a statement, Energy Minister Konrad Mizzi said that the original route saw the cable passing through the oil exploration territory of an Italian company.

Mizzi said the Labour government had never been aware of this problem because it had never been made public by the previous administration.

"We worked hard to resolve this problem in the national interest and the government was readily available to collaborate with the Italian authorities and Italy's government to resolve this problem," Mizzi said.

The problem was resolved after changes were carried out to cable route.

The permit was issued on Thursday and includes the authorisation of interconnector connection at the Marina di Ragusa. It covers the authorisation to place 20km-long cables beneath the roads leading to Ragusa's Terna Substation.

Permit conditions include some which must be met before works start in Italy. These are expected to be addressed by the Enemalta Corporation and Terna by May.

Italy's authorisation also refers to the agreement reached between Enemalta, Ragusa and the Ragusa council earlier this year. Malta must pay Ragusa €500,000 in environmental compensation while the Ragusa council must receive €600,000.

More in National
Yanika Chetcuti
LE! All ready and waiting to go, GonziPN left Government affairs!! So much that still needs to come out.
So we have to pay €1.1 million to the Italians for letting us connect to their network. Is this allowed by the EU? If so, shouldn't the Italians pay us for having their Algerian gas pipelines passing through Maltese waters?
Malcolm Mifsud
A feather in the cap of the new minister of energy who resolved all outstanding permit conditions and problems in such a short time. Let us hope that the energy charges agreement about which we have been kept completely in the dark re its progress and terms will be quickly concluded and transparently communicated to the public. We must be told the cost and tariffs of such imported energy so that hopefully the Marsa power station is decommissioned asap.

Get access to the real stories first with the digital edition