Malta-Italy Interconnector 2 (ICM) Project

Last month the Malta-Sicily InterConnector 2 Project started. ABT’s Emily Gambino and Jorge Gutierrez Serrano have completed the offshore survey aboard the Urbano Monti Research Vessel as the Environmental Experts on this project.

A quick background overview of the project:

The Italy-Malta IC2 project objective is the installation of a cable that will allow Malta to import electrical energy, including renewable energy, from the European electricity grid (physical structures that enable electricity to be traded across borders). It will ensure that Malta still complies with the environmental and climate change obligations by importing energy from sources emitting less greenhouse gases.

How were our representatives involved in the project:

The first trip consisted of the environmental survey collecting plankton samples, water samples using a Niskin rosette, CTD, and sediment grabs. The geophysical and geotechnical were completed by our Italian partner Fugro and Elletra.

The second leg of the offshore surveying was dedicated to ROV surveys using the Cougar XT ROV system and Pygmy Shark HD IP camera along the proposed cable corridor from Sicily to Malta. ABT’s Emily Gambino was the Environmental Specialist onboard, monitoring the live footage for various environmental features from benthic organisms to ecologically sensitive and important Maerl beds. Fugro was in charge of identifying geomorphological features, archeological features, and manmade obstructions (UXO’s, cables, wrecks).

What are the next steps of the project:

The second trip was the end of the offshore survey on the Urbano Monti. Next scheduled will be to conduct nearshore Malta surveys which will include water & sediment sampling, ROV transects, and Boreholes, onboard a new vessel name Wilfred. Various analysis will be done to make sure that the environmental and climate obligations are met.


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