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Work on power grid ‘according to schedule’

Finance Minister Tonio Fenech has told Parliament that work on the European power grid interconnector project was proceeding according to schedule.

The work was currently focused on the detailed design of the high voltage equipment, including the switchgear, transformers and shunt reactors and the preparation of the environmental impact assessment of the terminal station, the gallery for the cables between Magħtab and the distribution centre at Kappara and the laying of the cable on the seabed between Magħtab and the edge of Maltese territorial waters.

In Italy, the public consultation phase was being held as part of the application for permits for the laying of the cable in Italian territorial waters and under the roads from Marina di Ragusa to a 230kV distribution centre near Ragusa.

A preliminary survey of the seabed where the cable will be laid has been completed by an Italian company and a more detailed survey will now be conducted by the cable contractor as the precise route is mapped out.

Mr Fenech said the price at which the electricity would be bought would depend on current conditions and generation costs.

The possibility of using gas for the Delimara power station remained under consideration and it was too early to decide on the infrastructure needed. Much depended on decisions needed to be taken by the EU on available funding for the projects. Mr Fenech also announced that BWSC, the contractor entrusted with the power station extension, has already been paid €153 million (excluding VAT) and only €13 million remain outstanding for pending work. The extension is, in the most part, being funded by the European Investment Bank.

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