Interconnector damage survey underway

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

A survey to establish the extent of damage caused to the interconnector cable between Malta and Sicily has started after the Polar King vessel arrived at its destination at 2.45am on Sunday.

The vessel is around 16 nautical miles off the coast of Sicily in international waters.

In a statement, Enemalta plc said that the survey is expected to last 36 hours. Using remotely operated vehicle and advanced technology devices, engineers will try to establish the extent of the damage suffered. Enemalta plc and Nexans engineers who supply the cable are on board the vessel to monitor the process. They will the analyse footage which is transmitted on board the vessel.

Enemalta plc deems this exercise as “critical” since it will give a clear picture. The company added that as soon as the extent of the damage is established, a plan for the repair works can be established and these can commence in the shortest possible time.

Earlier this week, Enemalta top officials confirmed that the interconnector between Malta and Sicily was down since two out of three cables were damaged when possibly a ship’s anchor was dragged on the seabed. The technical survey is estimated to cost €1 million approximately.

In a press conference then, Enemalta could not provide an exact date by when the necessary repairs will be ready. The company warned that the country could experience more power outages, following two blackouts.

The Malta Chamber of SMEs (GRTU) stated that the current situation with the interconnector has set Malta back more than 5 years in terms of expectation of energy supply. While the Opposition called for a second interconnector which would connect Malta to the European grid through a separate source and thereby ensuring multiple supply sources.