Photo: Fugro

Fugro puts preliminary marine route survey for Mediterranean link into fifth gear

The preliminary marine route survey for the second Malta-Sicily electrical interconnector is well underway as Fugro completed the geophysical survey near Malta, InterConnect Malta reports.

Fugro Italy finalized the geophysical survey near Malta last week using smaller vessels to reach shallow waters and chart the bathymetry of this area.

According to InterConnect Malta, this area is very critical for the successful completion of a trenchless cable transition from shore to sea minimizing any potential environmental and visual impacts.

An offshore vessel is currently collecting video footage of areas of interest along the project’s corridor to characterize these sections. This is being done using a remotely operated vehicle (ROV).

In the coming days, another survey will collect the environmental sampling close to shore in Malta for the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA).

This process will include the collection of water and sediment samples for chemical analysis in laboratories to determine the ecological status of the area, the project developer said.

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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 decarbonization objectives.

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

Similar to the first electrical link, it will have a nominal continuous rating capacity of 200MW and will be able to operate in a bi-directional mode, generally importing electricity from Sicily, but being technically able to transmit electricity from Malta to Sicily should excess electricity produced in Malta be available in the future.

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