Tista' taqra bil- Malti.
The Minister for transport and infrastructure Ian Borg said that the development of a permanent link between Malta and Gozo is an infrastructure investment that the Government is prioritising in order to eliminate transport challenges faced by Gozitan families.
Dr Borg gave this statement in response to a parliamentary question from MP Frederick Azzopardi, regarding the geological studies and geophysical investigations carried out in the channel between Malta and Gozo.
According to the Minister, planning and preparations for the drilling and construction of the tunnel between Malta and Gozo is advancing rapidly, but he added that everything was being done carefully to ensure it is sustainable. He explained the work involves technical studies on different aspects, most of which are being finalized at different stages. He also said that a conceptual design of the tunnel is being prepared.
Along with these comments, the Minister also said that at no stage were the experts involved, pressured to speed up the job.
Four studies have so far been published with others still ongoing. Simultaneously, the government is preparing international calls for tender for the drilling and operation of the tunnel. Last December, Infrastructure Malta published a Prior Information Notice on the EU’s Tender’s Electronic Daily (TED), a platform for procurement used by European Union Member States.
According to the Minister, this will be followed by the next step in the selection process, including a pre-qualification questionnaire which will have all the necessary technical information for prospective contractors to confirm the skills and capacity to carry out project.
Borg said that more specific details about this project have to be determined in accordance with technical, economic studies and Environmental Impact Assessments, and have been issued and have been assessed calls for the necessary international tender.
He did not indicate a date or how long this would take to complete.