The Malta Independent 20 April 2021, Tuesday

‘We want to diversify our energy sources with 'hydrogen-ready' gas-pipeline’ proposal – Miriam Dalli

Jake Aquilina Tuesday, 5 January 2021, 14:09 Last update: about 4 months ago

Minister for Energy and Enterprise Miriam Dalli said that the government will be looking into diverse methods as to how to obtain the funds for a ‘hydrogen-ready’ gas pipeline, after its application for funding was turned down by the EU.

Speaking about the project, Minister Dalli explained that although the government would still be using fossil fuels, they will make the effort to switch to more modes of renewable energy.

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“We want to offer energy from sources that do not pollute… we went from heavy fuel oil to LNG, which although is a fossil fuel, it is the least fossil fuel that pollutes… we presented a hydrogen-ready pipeline and our effort will remain the same; this would enable our country to be connected with the European countries,” Dalli remarked.

“It also includes the fact that it can produce hydrogen. That is our goal; to have a mix of energy sources which are cleaner and are available in the market.”

Asked by the Malta Independent on what form of financing the government will be looking at since the funding of the gas pipeline – which was amended to a ‘hydrogen-ready’ pipeline – was turned down by the EU, Dalli said:

“The project is still part of the Projects of Common interest. We are not saying that we are going to discard options; we are saying that we are looking at all the options in order to have security.”

She also noted that a deal is trying to be struck so that there is assurance that energy can be generated from different modes; assuring that when something fails with one source of energy, the country would have a backup.

“We want to diversify as we want to make sure that if there is a situation where when you have a station and something happens to it and it stops providing energy at that time, we would have the possibility to switch to other modes of energy production.”

Furthermore, she noted that there could be a hybrid mode of financing for the gas pipeline.

“There are diverse modes of financing. They could be from EU under different systems and schemes. There is also local financing. There is also a mix of both. We want to look at all the alternatives so that we can assure we get the best deal for our country.”

With this comment being made, this newsroom further asked what other modes of funding the EU would provide since it was the EU itself that turned down the funding.

“After the Covid-19 pandemic, the EU is looking at other different forms of funds. These give more impetus and weight to the European Green Deal. If we are going with a hydrogen-ready pipeline, this is with the ambit that we want to take the necessary steps to reduce carbon pollution from our country. It moves in tandem with the fact that by 2050 we need to be carbon-neutral.”

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