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Electricity supply to Gozo is upgraded

Investment will also lead to visual impact elimination of aerial lines

The longest stretch of pylons with overhead 33kV lines still in use in the country is in Mellieħa.

The longest stretch of pylons with overhead 33kV lines still in use in the country is in Mellieħa.

Enemalta is laying 10 kilometres of new high-voltage underground cables in Mellieħa to replace the old overhead lines that supply electricity to Gozo.

Through the €1.6 million investment, the company is improving the reliability and security of the electricity distribution network supplying the sister island.

Replacing the old 33kV overhead lines with new underground cables will reduce the risk of storm damage and other difficulties linked with the operation, repair and maintenance of overhead lines.

It will also lead to the visual impact elimination of aerial lines and pylons across kilometres of countryside in Mellieħa, the company said in a statement.

Customers in Gozo and Comino receive electricity through submarine cables connected to the distribution centre at Armier Bay. This distribution centre is supplied from the Mellieħa Distribution Centre through three alternative connections.

Two of these connections include a set of two parallel 33kV lines suspended on 33 pylons across a distance of 4.5 kilometres across the countryside between the two distribution centres.

The pylons, which reach heights of up to eight storeys, were erected between 1986 and 1988. They are the longest stretch of overhead 33kV lines still in use in Malta, extending all the way from the locality’s residential area down to Għadira Bay, before taking a steep climb to the Red Tower area of L-Aħrax tal-Mellieħa, until they reach the distribution centre.

Earlier this month, Enemalta started laying two new underground cable connections between the two distribution centres.

Once the new connections are energised, the old overhead lines and their pylons will be dismantled.

The first phase of the project includes the excavation and cable laying works at the Għadira Bay area. This work will be ready before summer. Between June and September Enemalta will be laying cables in other sections of the route to avoid traffic disruptions close to the beaches.

The final excavation and cable laying works are planned to be ready in autumn 2017. As part of these works, Enemalta is also increasing the capacity of the Mellieħa Bay area through the development of a new 11kV substation.

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