Preparatory works leading to a Malta-Sicily gas pipeline have reached the next phase, with two call for tenders related to the project issued and a third in the works.

A call for tender concerning advisory services in relation to a preliminary marine route survey for the pipeline was published on October 10 and will close on November 14. Another related to advertising and publicity of the project was published on October 16 and will close on November 16. In both cases, the tenders will be awarded according to price criteria. 

A third call for tender, related to advisory services for the gas pipeline project's financial engineering, is expected to be published shortly. 

The Energy and Water Management Ministry announced the tenders, which were issued by the Energy and Water Agency, in a statement this morning. The calls for tender can be access through the government's electronic tendering portal.

Read: Joe Mizzi in Sicily for talks on gas pipeline

The government has applied for EU funding to finance the tenders through the 2017 Connecting Europe Facility call for the Projects of Common Interest.

The gas pipeline project forms part of the current administration's electoral manifesto. A letter of intent between Malta and Sicily concerning the project was signed last May, with the pipeline's basic design completed and permitting procedures underway both locally and in Italy. 

The gas pipeline is planned to have a capacity of two billion cubic metres per year and will be 159 kilometres long. Seven kilometres of the pipeline will be onshore in Gela, where a terminal station will connect it to the Sicilian gas network.

The delivery of natural gas through the pipeline for use in the power stations will replace the liquefied natural gas floating storage inside Marsaxlokk Bay.

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