New Malta Sicily Pipeline Project Moves Ahead
There has been a proposal for some time to construct a subsea pipeline linking the island archipelago of Malta with the Italian island of Sicily.
If constructed this 159km subsea pipeline would be a bi-directional natural gas subsea pipeline, it would enable Malta to export natural gas from its LNG import terminal at Marsaxlokk Bay to Sicily and the rest of the Italian gas grid. Or Malta could import natural gas from Italy for use by it gas fuelled power stations. It is estimated that this new planned pipeline could have a capacity of some 1.2 billion cubic meters per year and a guaranteed flow of 141,000 Sm3/hour.
In Malta, the pipeline would land at the port of Delimara, which will require an additional area of 8,000sq.m to be reclaimed from the sea. The project will require a new access road to be constructed to connect the existing Delimara power stations to the new gas terminal.
In the longer term, it has been suggested that the arrival of the new gas pipeline would reduce the need to operate a floating LNG terminal and storage facility at Marsaxlokk Bay. Thus, enabling the port facilities at Marsaxlokk Bay to be used for other more environmentally friendly economic activities. In addition, it has been suggested the exiting gas fuelled Maltese’s power stations, and the proposed pipeline at some future date could be converted in transporting and using hydrogen in the future.