Last Updated on Tuesday, 25 October, 2022 at 10:09 am by Andre Camilleri
ECO-Hive projects to start operating beginning 2023
€50 million investment on new Organic Processing plant
Another 1,200 electric charging points will be set up by 2024, the budget revealed.
Currently there are already 340 such points around the country.
Additionally, the government is hoping to encourage private companies and businesses to switch their fleet to electric vehicles, with them benefiting from interest-free loans so as to complement the investment that they make in electric vehicles and charging stations.
As regarding waste management, some EcoHive projects will start operating by the beginning of 2023. Additionally the Multi-Material Recovery Facility will also start operating in Ħal Far. This will help in the recycling of various materials that would otherwise end up in the landfill.
EcoHive is the name chosen for a hub that will house four new waste management plants with the goal of maximizing the potential of Malta’s waste, by turning it into a resource. This includes recycling, the generation of electricity, and the production of compost.
On renewable energy schemes, it was announced in the budget that the government will continue to offer schemes for the installation of solar panels and batteries for the storage of renewable energy, heat pump water heaters and solar water heaters, and the restoration of wells of old houses.
A €50 million investment will also be made in a new Organic Processing plant project, which in return will yield both electrical energy and compost for the agricultural sector.
Gate fees are also set to be introduced by the first of January 2023, as the government is set to reduce the amount of waste that ends up in landfill, with the aim to encourage more separation of waste. Come November of this year, a new Material Recovery Facility will also be opened in Magħtab, which will help increase the recycling rate.
The government is also pledging to build a Skip Management Facility in the coming years, which will decrease around 47,000 tonnes of bulky waste from the landfill, where instead it will be separated and processed in order to meet recycling targets.
A total of eight megawatts will be allocated as a Feed In Tariff (FID) scheme for photovoltaics of less than 40kWp (kilowatt ‘peak’ power output of a system) for houses, while the same scheme will continue to extend for residential houses over 20 years.
A total of 16.5 megawatts will also be allocated for medium to large renewable energy systems, whose generation is equivalent to 6,050 homes in one year, where this comes in addition to the allocation for massive scale projects beyond one megawatt.
On offshore renewable energy, the government recently conducted a consultation process in the market for activities in the exclusive economic zone around Malta, with particular interest in renewable energy generation activities. For the year 2023, the government will also start the implementation phase of this project by inviting the private sector to invest in it.
It was also announced during the budget that the scheme for climate-friendly renovation of commercial buildings in the private sector with a value of around €20 million, as in the form of a scheme which falls under Malta’s European Recovery and resilience plan, will continue to be given, as even during the coming year.
On the government’s pledge to invest €700 million over the span of seven years in green areas, next year an agency will be established to coordinate the project.
The first phase of this investment will launch with several projects in various localities, including Cospicua, Birżebbuġa, Ħamrun, Marsa, Siġġiewi and San Ġwann. The government will also offer the private sector the opportunity to invest and maintain these projects as through private-public partnerships and alternative financial methods.
The appointed agency will also coordinate green urban reclamation projects. In accordance with the latest budget, the first project which will be carried out together with Wasteserv Malta, is the conversion of the former Sant’ Antnin recycling plant into an open area for families.
Works have also continued on the Majjistral Park, which will be completed at the beginning of 2023. Next year, work will continue on this park and on the park located in Marsascala.
He mentioned the work on the National Park this year. The amount spent by the end of this year is expected to reach €36.7 million, whilst for next year another €13 million will be allocated. Although this space can accommodate international level concerts, it will be available for the public to enjoy when not being used. Additionally, the creation of new parking spaces beneath green areas are also being explored. The government’s plan for the first quarter of next year is to issue calls for a concession for the construction and operation of these spaces.
A new programme of investments will be launched for green urban areas using national and international European funds. The government is also pledging to invest in strengthening biodiversity by investing in Natura 2000 areas as well as Marine Protected Areas (MPAs).
On water usage, the government will invest a total of €11 million in a new water transfer line between the Reverse Osmosis plant in Ċirkewwa and the Ta’ Qali reservoirs, while a new line that delivers water from Naxxar to Salini will cost €3.5 million.
Another investment of €7 million on the sewage treatment plant in Sant’ Antnin has reached its final stages, and is expected to start operating by the end of this year. This investment will increase the sewage treatment capacity in the South of Malta by over 20%.
On the agriculture, farming and fishing sector, the government is working on the development of the first National Policy for Sustainable Food, which Policy will also contain the Action Plan for Organic Production in Malta.