Interconnect Malta (ICM) welcomes the Planning Authority’s granting of the permit for the development of IC2, the second submarine electricity cable between Malta and Italy.

The conclusion of the permitting process, and the Authority’s positive review of this project, are an important step forward in the implementation of Malta’s plan for a sustainable energy sector. The proposal approved today includes the works required to lay and protect the land and subsea cable link between the Enemalta 132kV Maghtab Terminal Station up to the median line, halfway between Malta and the Italian Island of Sicily.

Minister for the Environment, Energy and the Regeneration of the Grand Harbour Dr. Miriam Dalli explained that IC2 is a critical project in Malta’s plan to ensure the sustainability and security of Malta’s energy sector. “It will increase the capacity and flexibility of the country’s electricity infrastructure, to meet the country’s future energy requirements while facilitating increased renewable energy investments, in line with our decarbonisation objectives,” Dr. Miriam Dalli said.

Dr Ing. Joseph Vassallo, Divisional Manager at Interconnect Malta, explained that the development permits for this project culminate two years of planning and studies that were needed to prepare the design of IC2, which will be routed at a safe distance from the first Malta-Italy Interconnector, commissioned in 2015. The new route necessitated new land and offshore surveys to investigate subsoil conditions and bathymetry. Following these surveys, in 2023 Interconnect Malta concluded the project’s Front-End Engineering Design, to determine the specifications of the required technologies, including cables, transformers, shunt reactors, safety and protection systems and other equipment.

“Interconnect Malta is now publishing calls for offers for the implementation of this project. Together with the strengthening of the national grid and the installation of utility-scale battery energy storage systems, IC2 will consolidate security of supply and allow the integration of more and larger renewable energy sources for Malta,” Dr Vassallo said.

Interconnect Malta is also collaborating with the Italian authorities to conclude the permitting processes of this project in Italian waters and on land in Sicily.

The IC2 project will develop a 121-kilometre, 225 MW HVAC electrical cable interconnection including a 99-kilometre submarine cable operating at 220 kV between Malta (Maghtab) and Italy (Ragusa, Sicily).

It will consolidate security of supply by doubling Malta’s current electricity interconnection with the European network. It will also empower increased investments in renewable energy systems by providing the necessary reserve capacity to accommodate the energy output intermittency of Malta’s growing grid-connected renewable energy sources, contributing to the country’s climate objectives, for a better quality of life.

The IC2 Project may be part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund Programme 2021-2027 of the European Union.