As part of an ongoing collaboration, Enemalta plc and Enemed Co. Ltd presented the Civil Protection Department with specialised equipment for fire and rescue operations in confined spaces.

The two Companies have recently acquired long duration breathing apparatus which the Civil Protection Department can use during rescue and fire-fighting emergencies in underground tunnels and other confined spaces. This specialised equipment allows the Department’s personnel to safely enter such spaces during a fire emergency and to remain there for a longer time to assist persons trapped inside and to extinguish the flames. Through this €60,000 investment, Enemalta and Enemed also sponsored intensive training programmes in Italy for four Civil Protection Department rescuers to acquire the skills required to use the new equipment. These rescuers are now passing on this experience to other colleagues.

Enemalta plc makes use of over 30 kilometres of underground tunnels containing hundreds of kilometres of high voltage cables that distribute electricity from power stations and from the Malta-Italy Interconnector to the main electricity network nodes across the country. Likewise, Enemed operates a network of tunnels to transfer fuels imported in Malta from the Grand Harbour and the Marsaxlokk Harbour to its fuel storage facilities, some of which are located underground as well. These electricity distribution and fuel installations are essential for the two Companies to provide their services, and to ensure the security of supply of electricity and petroleum fuels in the Maltese Islands.

The availability of long duration breathing apparatus is one of several measures identified by the two Companies and the Civil Protection as part of an ongoing process to review and improve the country’s preparedness to accidents and other emergencies in these critical underground installations. Other measures implemented in these installations include early fire detection systems, surveillance systems, rigorous standard operating procedures for employees entering these spaces and other interventions aimed at reducing the risk of ignition and fire spreading.

Enemalta, Enemed and the Civil Protection Department are also engaged in other initiatives to ensure the safety of other critical energy installations. As operators of some of Malta’s largest fuel storage facilities, the two Companies collaborate with the Department and with other authorities to ensure strict adherence to the Control of Major Accident Hazards Regulations (COMAH). The three entities’ personnel regularly participate in emergency simulation exercises to test, review and optimise the emergency plans for each of these sites.