VALLETTA Dec 14 Nexans Norway, a global company
in the provision of cabling, has been contracted by the Maltese
government to lay a submarine electrical interconnector linking
Malta to the European power grid in Sicily.
The 182 million euro contract was signed on Tuesday in the
presence of Finance Minister Tonio Fenech.
The interconnector is to be commissioned by the end of 2013
and is expected to deliver up to 225 megawatts of electricity.
It will have a sub-sea route length of 95 kilometres and will be
laid in sea depths of 160 metres.
Fenech said the link to the European grid would enable Malta
to keep up with growing demand for electricity, while also
enabling the island to phase out an old power station at
Another power station, at Delimara in the south of the
island, will also be extended, giving the country two sources of
electrical power while reducing emissions.
Nexans was selected following a second round of bidding
after the first call for tenders was cancelled in July. The only
tenderer at the time, ABB Consortium, was found to be
administratively non-compliant with the tender conditions.
Fresh bids were then requested from four shortlisted
companies but only three submitted a bid - ABB, Nexans and
Prysmian PowerLink. The Nexans bid was 25 million euros cheaper
than second-placed ABB.
"This project will provide Malta with an economically viable
source of energy as well as giving us peace of mind," Mr Fenech
said at the signing ceremony.