Malta-Gozo tunnel tenders to be published in 2019

Infrastructure Minister Ian Borg said yesterday that €751,654.60 had been spent on nine core samples used to build a model of the seabed

According to Borg, the most recently completed geological model of the area are under investigation
According to Borg, the most recently completed geological model of the area are under investigation

Tenders for the construction of an underground tunnel between Malta and Gozo will be issued at some point during 2019, according to Infrastructure minister Ian Borg.

The minister was replying to series of parliamentary questions by PN MP Toni Bezzina, where he said that details on how the tenders would be structured would be given soon.

“Over the last two months, the geological model of the area under investigation, that is being considered for the tunnel to pass beneath, was completed,” Borg said, adding that in recent weeks the results from the model were discussed with various experts, entities and authorities.
Borg said that nine cores samples were collected, with results from tests carried out being integrated into the geological model.

The minister said that a total of €751,645.60 was spent on the coring, which was carried out by the company GEOTEC spa and which was awarded the contact following a competitive tender. 

Technical studies forming part of the project’s Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), required a development permit to be issued, as well as topographical surveys to determine where the tunnel’s proposed entrance would be, also continued in recent months, the minister said.

In August it was then announced that the entrances to the tunnel would be Nadur, below the Kenuna Tower and Imbordin, a hamlet between Pwales and Manikata that forms part of St Paul's Bay. The proposed tunnel would be 13km long and 500m, and would be able to take a daily capacity of 6,500 cars.

“In a project of this size, the planning stage is an integral part of the implementation process,” Borg said.

Once processes such as the technical planting and procedures related to studies and permit evaluations were completed, contractors for the project would be selected before the infrastructural work got underway, Borg said.