Enemalta is launching the final repairs of the Malta-Italy Interconnector, after it was damaged by a ship’s anchor earlier this year.
Weather permitting, works on the damaged section of this subsea cable, which supplies around 20% of Malta’s electricity requirements, are starting today (Friday, 5th November) and will be ready by the end of the month.
Last March, part of this 98-kilometre connection was damaged by the anchor of the tanker Chem B at Qalet Marku Bay, close to the cable’s landing point in Malta. A few weeks ago, Enemalta detached the anchor and chain, which had remained stuck to the cable, and raised them from the seabed.
After divers inspected the damages, Enemalta and its contractor, Nexans, identified a 1.2-kilometre stretch of the Interconnector cable that needed to be replaced. This week, Nexans’ specialised cable-laying vessel CLV Aurora arrived at Marsaxlokk Bay to load the required cable from the Delimara Power Station, where Enemalta was storing it for such eventualities. The loading operation was supported by International Energy Service Centre Ltd, Enemalta’s subsidiary company entrusted with several maintenance operations at the same power station.
While the CLV Aurora is replacing the damaged cable at Qalet Marku Bay, the Interconnector will be de-energised. Enemalta is dispatching its spare capacity plants at the Delimara Power Station to continue meeting the country’s electricity demand.
Enemalta and Nexans engineers and technicians joined forces to conduct several tests and ensure that the repairs are carried out safely, and that the repairs meet the required technical standards, without impacting the Interconnector’s output and operation.
This is the second time in the last three years that Enemalta needed to repair the Malta-Italy Interconnector following damages by a vessel’s anchor.