Government-owned InterConnect Malta has launched a call for tenders seeking the provision of front end engineering design (FEED) for the second electrical cable interconnection project between Malta and Sicily.

The tender is issued for the second electrical interconnection through a submarine cable operating at 220kV between Malta (Maghtab) and Sicily (Ragusa) to be laid in parallel to the existing HVAC cable link which was commissioned in 2015.

The scope of work includes the design of a 118-kilometre long 200MWe 50Hz electrical cable between the two countries.

The FEED study will cover the onshore routes in both countries, the whole offshore route in between and the two proposed cable landing areas close to Blata tal-Għallis in Malta and Marina di Ragusa in Sicily.

Additionally, the outcomes of this tender will be used for permitting purposes and to develop the specifications of the engineering, procurement and construction tender planned to be issued later next year.

The deadline for the submission of applications has been set for 19 May 2022 at 9:30.

Diversifying and strengthening Malta’s energy sources

The second electrical interconnector project will consist of a subsea and onshore cable link between the Maghtab terminal station, operated by Enemalta p.l.c., and the Ragusa 220kV substation in Sicily, operated by Terna.

It will have a nominal continuous rating capacity of 200MW and will operate in a bi-directional mode, generally importing electricity from Sicily, but being able to transmit electricity from Malta to Sicily when excess electricity produced in Malta becomes available in the future.

The second Malta-Sicily cable link is part of the Maltese Government’s future energy strategy for meeting the 2030 climate and energy targets and the longer-term decarbonisation objectives.

It aims at diversifying the islands’ energy sources and meeting the projected increase in electricity demand from economic growth and electrification of the transport sector.

At the same time, the project is expected to strengthen the electricity interconnectivity with the EU electricity network, allow for increased importation of electricity sourced from renewables, optimise the use of local power generation, whilst allowing the increase in local renewable energy sources through the enhancement of the grid stability and balancing of intermittent RES.

Besides the electricity interconnection, Malta is also working on a 159-kilometre long interconnector that will connect the island to Italy, ending its gas isolation with the connection to the trans-European Gas Network.

Melita TransGas Pipeline (MTGP) will allow the transportation of gas, renewable gases, and hydrogen from the Italian gas network necessary to meet Malta’s gas demand for power generation and the future inland market.

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