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€500,000 investment for new double-glazing scheme
Another budget measure has been released by the ministry for tourism and consumer protection: half a million has been allocated towards a new double-glazing scheme for all households in Birżebbuġa!
Residents of the village can benefit from the scheme, through which they will be able to change inadequate or inefficient external apertures in their households, to mitigate against the inconvenience caused by Freeport operations. The scheme is financed to the tune of €500,000 by the Malta Freeport Corporation, and will be operated by the Regulator for Energy and Water Services (REWS). The government will be reimbursing up to 90% of the investment made, which will benefit at least 250 families.
Julia Farrugia Portelli, tourism minister said that the Freeport is an important aspect of the country’s economy “but it is recognised that the nature of this work involves an element of inconvenience, particularly in terms of noise and ship emissions. The government is continuously striving to reduce these inconveniences as much as possible.” The government has announced two projects: the next phase of implementing the shore-to-ship project, which will be addressing air pollution and the double glazing scheme, to address the noise pollution.
The minister added that the measures are not the only ones being taken to reduce the inconvenience. The Malta Freeport Corporation has invested in machinery that operates making less noise and installed more white noise alarms. In the meantime, a project is also underway, aimed at reducing emissions from ships, while moored in the Freeport.
“In the first months of my ministerial responsibility, I gave a direction to the to the Corporation to initiate studies on the viability of the shore-to-ship power supply that enables moored ships to shut down their engines during their loading or unloading operations and instead be powered through the national electricity grid.”
These studies were concluded in the past weeks and results showed that the project would be of great benefit for Birżebbuġa residents. The project and its studies were approved by the government, and therefore, the ministry will proceed to apply for European funds. It’s estimated that through the project, emissions will drop by around 40% from present levels and the first phase is expected to cost around €5,000,000.