Hon. Joe Mizzi Minister for Energy & Water and Parliamentary Secretary Aaron Farrugia visited the 9.5 km tunnel being drilled from the Pembroke Reverse Osmosis plant to the Ta’ Qali Reservoirs. This Project is intended to improve the overall water quality in many parts of Malta and improve operational efficiency and environmental sustainability.
This is yet another project forming part of the Water Services Corporation’s ‘Net Zero Impact Utility’ project, the implementation of which is in full swing.
Tunnel boring works are being carried out by Bonnici Bros. Services Ltd. The tunnel will be a crucial asset for the Corporation and will allow it to link its largest Reverse Osmosis plant in Pembroke to the Ta’ Qali Group of Reservoirs via large diameter 1.2m mains. This will ensure that all the blending potential of RO water is exploited, and pumping energy reduced to the barest minimum, thereby giving better efficiency and optimal environmental performance. The significant reduction of pumping losses will mean crucial savings in electricity used for pumping as well as hundreds of tonnes of CO2 per year.
Minister Mizzi also viewed the latest upgrades to the reverse osmosis trains in Pembroke. As a result of these upgrades, the estimated annual electricity reduction at Pembroke is 4,437,852 kwHr resulting in annual savings of €421,596. Water transferred from the Pembroke RO will be blended with groundwater at the Ta’ Qali Group of reservoirs, sampled and finally treated to ensure an optimal quality blend.
The production and supply of the large diameter glass fibre reinforced plastic (GRP) pipes inside the tunnel is entrusted to Turkish company Superlit Boru Sanayi A.S which has vast experience in the field. The pipes in question are a first for Malta. The tunnel will house two pipelines, one to deliver water to Ta Qali and the other will be used to supply good quality blended water to the central part of the island through a centralised hub feeding mainly via gravity – no need of pumps. In total, around 3,000 tonnes of pipework and fittings will be laid in the tunnel.
Updates on this project’s progress were given by WSC CEO Richard Bilocca. This project is co-ordinated by the Water Services Corporation and will be co-financed through EU Cohesion funds.
The Water Services Corporation is currently implementing an unprecedented investment in the water sector, which investment is intended to continue to sustain Malta’s grown economy and improve quality of life.
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