The Maltese Government and the Sicilian authorities have signed a letter of intent for the construction of a gas pipeline that will link Malta to Sicily. The project which is co-funded by the EU will cost around €320M million and shall be completed in seven years. The pipeline will connect Malta to the European network for the very first time, thus establishing security of supply.
During his speech at the signing ceremony, Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat noted that following the introduction of Liquefied Natural Gas as the main fuel in the generation of energy in the country, Malta’s next critical step in its National Energy Policy is the implementation of a Gas Pipeline with Italy (Sicily, Gela). Once commissioned, the pipeline will replace the temporary Floating Storage Unit currently berthed at Delimara. The vessel is an integral part of Malta’s newly operational gas-fired power plant.
This policy fits in the EU’s Energy Union Strategy, and thus makes the pipeline a Project of Common European Interest making it also eligible for fast-track processing. EU policy stresses the need to end member states’ energy isolation, and calls for a well-connected pan-European electricity and gas network as precondition for a genuinely functioning EU Internal Energy Market. This is a critical component to ensure security of supply, sustainability and affordability of energy for families and businesses.