client: enemalta p.l.c
The Malta-Sicily Interconnector is instrumental for Malta to enable shifting from hydrocarbon fuels and make use of energy produced by low carbon generators, through connection to the European Power Grid, across Europe. This infrastructure is helping Malta reach the EU’s emission targets. Moreover, sourcing electricity from different geographical locations would result in costs being less driven by the price of fuel oil and the fluctuating dollar currency also improving security of supply.
AIS Environment was involved in both the concept phase and construction phase of the Malta-Sicily Interconnector project. At concept phase, we were contracted to prepare the Environmental Planning Statement (EPS) for the project. This service identified the environmental effects of the project and identified mitigation measures to reduce their severity.
Enemalta also engaged our services to monitor the construction works to ensure that the mitigation measures put forward in the EPS were implemented and environmental impacts were kept to a minimum.
Image Sources: Enemalta & Offshore Energy
At concept phase, AIS Environment prepared the Environmental Planning Statement (EPS). The EPS included baseline studies on the land and sea uses, geology and hydrology, terrestrial ecology, landscape and visual, archeological sites, infrastructure and utilities, noise and vibration, marine environment and public health. AIS identified the effects that the project would have on these environmental themes and put forward recommendations to reduce the impacts.
During construction of the Terminal Station and Tunnel, our field team monitored the works on a weekly basis. We also performed regular specialised monitoring:
- Air quality and noise were monitored periodically and our experts guided the contractors to apply mitigation measures to minimize adverse impacts on the environment.
- Our archaeologists monitored the site according to the instructions of the Superintendence of Cultural Heritage.
- Our marine team also monitored the health of the marine environment by surveying 3 indicators: seagrass (Posidonia oceanica), infauna (sand-burrowing species) and maerl.
The EPS identified a number of potential impacts, with generation and management of waste being of highest concern. The Malta-Sicily Interconnector project was considered to have a positive interaction with other factors especially the improved security of the electricity supply and improved air quality.
The interconnector was inaugurated in April 2015.