The Malta Independent 19 January 2020, Sunday

Damaged interconnector: Enemalta in talks with insurers ‘to take necessary action’

Giulia Magri Thursday, 9 January 2020, 08:26 Last update: about 10 days ago

After a survey ship identified and confirmed that the interconnector was damaged by a ship’s anchor, Enemalta has said that is speaking with their insurers to ensure that all the necessary action is taken to secure their legal rights.

Last Sunday, the Polar King survey vessel arrived on a site 16 nautical miles off Ragusa to assess the extent of the damage sustained by the interconnector cable, which lies between Sicily and Malta.

ADVERTISEMENT

The footage obtained by the Polar King provides reasonable evidence that the cable was ruptured by an anchor which was dragged and eventually dislodged the cable from the trench on the seabed. The Malta Independent asked Enemalta whether the company will be taking action and looking into what ship caused the damage to the interconnector. “Enemalta is currently in talks with our insurers to take all the necessary action to secure our legal rights.”

Back in December, there were several nationwide power cuts over a period of five weeks, leaving people and businesses feeling frustrated and concerned. On 30 December, Enemalta called for a late night press conference to explain why Malta was experiencing the blackouts, and it was there that the damage to the interconnector was first mentioned.

During the press conference, the technical team explained that the survey ship, the Polar King vessel, is not the same ship which will be fixing the damage. When asked whether it has been confirmed when the other ship will start working on the damage interconnector, Enemalta said that in the coming days its engineers, along with those from Nexans (the company that supplied the cable), will determine what needs to be done to start the repair process in the shortest period of time.

“We will communicate further on this matter at a later stage. We wish to assure, however, that all efforts are being made to start the repair process in the shortest possible time,” Enemalta said.

In a statement published on Wednesday, the Ministry for Energy & Water Management said that there should be no further total blackouts unless there are any extraordinary cases which come up, but said that there may be some short power cuts in certain localities. The statement was issued in reaction to the Opposition’s allegations that the government is hiding facts about the power outages.

The statement read that another total blackout is not anticipated unless there are extraordinary circumstances, but there may be certain moments in different localities where there would be a power outage because the supply would be switching between one engine to another.

The statement noted that all effort had been made to keep everyone informed, and that there is enough generation capacity- 553MW- to cope with the anticipated level of demand of the current period, which is between 460MW and 470MW.

 

  • don't miss