The European Commission has given a positive assessment to Malta’s modified recovery and resilience facility (RRF) plan which sees investment removed from two projects amid rising costs and an improved economic outlook.
Malta has removed two investments from the RRF plan, the construction of a new ferry dock at Bugibba, and the setting up of a Centre for Vocational Educational Excellence ITS Campus.
In addition, two measures were scaled down related to the digitalisation of the health sector and renovation of Mount Carmel public hospital
Changes were made to Malta’s original plan in part due to the need to factor in supply chain disruptions triggered by the Russian invasion of Ukraine. This has contributed to a persistently higher rate of inflation and has caused investments to be more expensive, causing delays.
In addition, there has been a downward revision of the maximum RRF grant allocation Malta was set to receive, from €316 million, to €258 million, in light of an improved economic outlook for the country.
However, Malta has added a new chapter to its plan which includes the addition of a reform and an investment, to deliver on the RePowerEU plan. This plan is intended to make Europe free from Russian fossil fuels before 2030.
The new investment is intended to strengthen and extend the country’s electricity distribution network through investments in the grid, distribution services and battery storage. Whereas the reform involves streamlining permitting procedures of renewable energy projects, making solar energy installations mandatory for certain new buildings.
Despite a downward revision of RRF grant, on balance Malta’s plan will receive additional funding from its share of the Brexit Adjustment Reserve (BAR) worth €40 million, and €29.9 million from the country’s share of the REPowerEU grants.
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