Night tariffs as of March 2014
Night tariffs will come into force as of March 2014 once the interconnector cable is powered up from the Ragusa terminal in Sicily linking Malta to the Euorpe energy grid, Minister of Finance, the Economy and Investment Tonio Fenech said.
The Minister this afternoon visited the Enemalta distribution centre at Kappara including the newly dug tunnels and switchgear rooms. Tonio Fenech explained how apart from €200 million Euro invested in the interconnector itself, the Government is also investing €75 million in distributing infrastructure including the building of five distribution centres across the island. The distribution centre at Kappara will be powering the East side of the island particularly Sliema, San Gwann, Swieqi and Pembroke areas.
Minister Fenech said that once the interconnector becomes operational, the local energy infrastructure would generate a total of 690Mw, surpassing the maximum demand of 430Mw which takes place over the summer period. The interconnector alone will supply 200Mw but has the capacity of supplying 360Mw for one hour in case of emergency. This will also result in the total decommission of the Marsa power station part of which will be converted into a distribution block.
The installation of smart meters in all residences and commercial outlets across Malta, together with the introduction of night tariffs, will result in a reduction of utility bills together with more environmentally friendly energy generation.
The Minister concluded by showing his appreciation for the work carried out on the interconnector project by all the workers involved led by Project Manager Martin Attard Montaldo and Engineer Joseph Scicluna.
Engineer Scicluna explained how the tunnel dug at Kappara reaches a maximum depth of 44 meters and the expanse is such that construction vehicles can pass through for maintenance and upkeep. The cost of such tunnels is calculated at €2000 per running meter and the area of the tunnel also helps the air circulation inside the tunnel and provides ample working areas. The tunnels and distribution infrastructure currently being laid would need no further upgrades in case electricity generation on the island is switched to gas.
Joseph Scicluna also explained that currently Enemalta Corporation is incurring 4% technical losses which are equal to the European average; however this can be reduced with the introduction of distribution centres.
All distribution equipment will be installed locally by June and the interconnector cable is being manufactured.
In August the cable will start being laid on the seabed commencing from the Maltese end , and is expected to become operational in March 2014.