Malta-Italy gas pipeline: Italy requests environmental impact studies

Geological studies on the gas pipeline route will have to be accompanied by studies assessing the impact of the project on the environment

Geological studies of the seabed have to be accompanied by investigations on the environmental impact of the Malta-Italy project
Geological studies of the seabed have to be accompanied by investigations on the environmental impact of the Malta-Italy project

Italian authorities have requested further studies from the Maltese on the environmental impact of the subsea gas pipeline between the two countries.

Studies conducted so far have focussed on the geological impact along the route of the pipeline that will connect Delimara with the southern coastal city of Gela in Sicily.

However, Italian media are now reporting that the regional authorities in Sicily have requested parallel environmental impact studies before proceeding with the planning process.

The request appears to have been communicated recently after the Maltese authorities asked for the permitting process to be speeded up.

This comes after an agreement reached in June between both countries that Malta will shoulder the full cost of the project.

READ ALSO: Malta agrees with Italy to fund gas pipeline to Sicily

Malta wants to connect with the European mainland gas supply to be able to generate electricity from natural gas as opposed to the liquefied natural gas set up currently in operation at Delimara.

The project will cost around €400 million and is partly-funded by the EU. It is being carried out by Melita Transgas Ltd, a subsidiary of Maltese State-owned Petromal Ltd.

The environmental impact studies, especially in the environs of Gela, are necessary because the pipeline route is expected to pass through ecologically important areas.

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