A survey on the interconnector has confirmed that it was a ship’s anchor that caused the damage, Enemalta said on Monday. 

It said footage obtained by survey vessel Polar King provides reasonable evidence that the cable was ruptured by an anchor, with evidence showing how the anchor was dragged, eventually dislodging the cable from the trench on the seabed and subsequently ripping it. 

The Polar King arrived on a site 16 nautical miles off Ragusa on Sunday to assess the damage caused to the undersea power cable between Sicily and Malta. It deployed a remote-operated vehicle to transmit footage to Enemalta and cable supplier Nexans engineers.

In a statement on Monday evening, Enemalta said the footage confirmed its initial beliefs that the damage had been caused by a ship’s anchor. 
The engineers are now determining what needs to be done for repairs to be carried out in the shortest possible time. 

“In the coming hours Enemalta and Nexans engineers will continue to analyze the footage provided by the Polar King vessel to establish what actions need to be taken to initiate the repair process,” Enemalta said. 

The cable has been out of action since the damage was caused, probably by a ship’s anchor, two days before Christmas.

The damage led to a nationwide blackout lasting several hours, as well as a few more limited power outages over the past few weeks. It has forced Enemalta to power up all turbines to reduce the extent of interruptions until the problem is solved, at a cost of €150,000 a day.

The survey cost the energy provider €1 million. 

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