It may sound a tad far-fetched at this stage but artificial land may soon become a reality in Malta, most probably off the coast of Baħar iċ-Ċagħaq.
Whether the country will go down the route of Dubai’s famous Palm Islands or opt for something more mundane is as yet unknown, but Prime Minister Joseph Muscat confirmed today that the government considers land reclamation as a “very large environmental priority”.
“We are running out of space where we can dump construction waste,” Muscat told the press today. “The quarries they are currently being dumped into are close to saturation point, as is the dumping site in Maltese waters that has been used to dispose of waste from major projects since the Second World War.”
The problem is likely to aggravate when work commences on the planned tunnel between Malta and Gozo, the largest project in the country’s recent history.
“The project will generate an enormous quantity of construction waste,” Muscat said. “Can we dump this rock in quarries? They’ll fill up immediately. Can we dump it in the sea? That’s a possibility, although we’ll need to identify which parts of the sea to dump it in. However, can we instead use this resource to reclaim land? Transport Malta, ERA and the Planning Studies are conducting studies in this regard to help the government issue a land reclamation policy. I assure you that we are taking this very seriously.”