Malta has successfully negotiated a derogation to ensure that the hydrogen-ready pipeline is recognised as a Project of Common Interest by the European Union. The negotiations were led by Minister for Energy, Enterprise and Sustainable Development Miriam Dalli.
The importance of the derogation is that it seeks to ensure that the project is eligible for EU funding under the new legal framework.
The derogation agreed upon the Energy Council meeting in Luxembourg will apply for Malta and Cyprus. The EU energy ministers met on Friday to reach a general approach on the Review of the Trans-European Energy Regulation before negotiations with the other institutions kick off. This agreement must now be confirmed during the trialogues.
During the discussions, Minister Dalli argued that Member States such as Malta should be linked to the European grid, allowing access to new energy markets such as hydrogen. She insisted that the European Union should understand the realities of small states such as Malta.
“This is the first step in making sure that when hydrogen becomes available in Europe, we would be able to apply for infrastructure securing connectivity to the European networks,” the Minister said.
The European hydrogen strategy for climate neutrality was discussed at the meeting. Minister Dalli stressed that hydrogen could make a strong contribution to the European Union’s climate and energy decarbonisation goals by 2050.