Malta-Italy Electrical Interconnector 2 (ICM)

We are glad to announce that two (2) ABT representatives, Emily Gambino and Jorge Gutierrez Serrano, are taking part in a new project – the Malta-Italy Electrical Interconnector 2 (ICM).

Last Thursday, 25th August, AquaBioTech Group met with partner Fugro, contractor Interconnect Malta (ICM), and the owner manager of Fugro Italy, Rodolfo D’Addario on board the “Urbano Monti Research Vessel”. On the agenda was the usual weekly meeting, a tour of the boat’s facilities, and a demonstration of the research equipment that will be used during the trip.

What is the project about and how is ABT involved?

The Italy-Malta IC2 project is starting this September and will last for a total of four weeks. The objective is the installation of a cable to enable Malta to import electricity, including renewable energy, from the European electricity grid. It will ensure that Malta still complies with environmental and climate change obligations by importing energy from sources emitting fewer greenhouse gases.

For this project, a preliminary study was done to create the route along which the cable will lie – a 200m-wide corridor over 118km between Malta (Maghtab) and Sicily (Ragusa). After that, several surveys will be conducted along the preliminary marine route where the cable will be installed to assess the possible environmental impacts the installation might have on the marine ecosystem. This environmental impact assessment will be used to determine the effectiveness of the route.

Various surveys will be carried out on board the vessel, such as a geophysical survey, ROV visual survey, geotechnical survey and an environmental survey, among others. Italian partner Fugro are in charge of the ROV, geophysical and geotechnical surveys and are owners of the vessel.

Our representatives will:

  1. Oversee the offshore Environmental surveys
  2. Use plankton nets to collect, identify and quantify planktonic organisms
  3. Collect water samples using niskin bottles for chemical characterisation
  4. Collect sediment samples to analyse:
  • chemical composition
  • granulometry
  • composition and abundance benthic macrofauna.

Stay tuned!! More information on the project will follow.

Articles published for further reading: FUGRO, Interconnect Malta (ICM)

Photo Credits: Giancarlo Cristofalo