WSC Tunnel & Hunter’s Tower Public Hearing
May 2018
AIS Environment was entrusted with undertaking two separate Environmental Impact Statements (EIS) for: the demolition of a restaurant and construction of a hotel in Marsaxlokk; and the construction of an underground water distribution tunnel running from Pembroke to Ta’ Qali. An outline of the project and the main findings of the EIS were presented by AIS Environment in separate public hearing meetings that were held on the 17th April and 2nd May respectively.

The EIS for the demolition of the existing Hunter’s Tower restaurant and its replacement with a 113-bedroom hotel, assessed various environmental issues which include: land use, landscape character and visual amenity, geology, ecology, noise, vibrations and lighting. An Appropriate Assessment was also presented by AIS to assess the impacts on the adjacent Natura 2000 site, il-Ballut Marshland. The project seeks to reinvigorate the touristic potential and improve the economy of the area, whilst also providing funds for the restoration and management of the adjacent marshland.

The proposed underground tunnel extends over a number of localities (Attard, Mosta, Naxxar, Iklin, San Gwann, Ibragg, Swieqi, Pembroke) and will be operated by the Water Services Corporation (WSC). The project seeks to improve the water quality in the central and eastern regions of Malta and reduce frictional losses and water leakages in the current system. A detailed impact assessment on the existing landuse, geology, hydrology, water bodies, architecture, archelogy, noise and vibration at each locality was presented by AIS. The study also involved an assessment of the environmental risks associated with the tunnel.

Both planning applications are awaiting final decisions from the Planning Board. 

MSFD Marine Environmental Monitoring Project

6th April, 2018

Malta Marine Monitoring Consortium (M3C), comprised of AIS Environment Ltd (Malta) and AZTI Tecnalia (Spain), have been commissioned by the Environment and Resources Authority (ERA) to take on the project entitled “Implementation and updating of marine monitoring programmes, assessment of environmental status and development of a marine database system.”

The ultimate goals of this European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF 2014-2020) project are to devise a holistic approach towards marine monitoring and to develop a comprehensive database of monitoring data collected from our surveys of Maltese waters. The database will be supplemented by relevant datasets obtained from numerous stakeholders. The final database will be made publically available.

As part of the project tasks, M3C are required to hold four stakeholder workshops and a final conference in order to disseminate knowledge garnered through the project’s implementation. The workshop held on 6th April, 2018 was the first of the four seminars to be held as part of this project. The main objectives of this particular session were to:

· Introduce the project and its main objectives

· Outline the progress of the project and some preliminary results

· Describe the proposed database and its purpose

· Invite comments from the attendees relating to the project components

Representatives from the ERA (Tamara Micallef and Lydia Koehler) and M3C (Yasmin Schembri) presented an introduction to the project and its relevant policy background. Entities such as MESDC, Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture, Transport Malta, Planning Authority, Water Services Corporation, Department of Agriculture, Environment and Health Directorate, MCCAA, Malta Marittima Agency, Wasteserv, MGOZ, Funds & Programmes Division and University of Malta were represented at the workshop. The seminar was closed off with a Q&A session during which some comments were put forward by the attendees, most notably regarding the monitoring frequency and database.

The results of this project, including stakeholder feedback, will contribute to effective management and sustainable use of marine resources, for the benefit of the environment and of all marine sectors. Through this project, the environmental status of Malta’s coastal water bodies will be assessed, which will enable the environmental authority to continue working towards achieving Good Environmental Status in our marine waters.


Farsons BP & Pitstop PS Board hearing

11th January, 2018

Environmental Planning Statements (EPS) are prepared as part of the screening process of various developments which do not meet the criteria of a full Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA). AIS Environment was entrusted with undertaking two separate EPS relating to the Farsons Business Park in Mrieħel and the petrol station in Marsascala, culminating in two board hearings. Both projects were approved by the PA board.

The Farsons Business Park EPS involved the assessment of the impacts of the development on land use, landscape character and visual amenity, geology, water bodies, architecture, archaeology, air quality, noise and infrastructures & utilities. AIS Environment presented the summary of these studies during the board hearing on 5th October, 2017. Following submission of a masterplan by the architects, the project was approved by the PA board on 7th December, 2017.

The EPS studies relating to the petrol station on the outskirts of Marsascala comprised of land use, landscape character and visual amenity, geology, water bodies, archaeology, air quality, infrastructures & utilities and environmental risk. AIS Environment presented thesummary of these studies during the board hearing on 21st December, 2017. The project was approved by the PA board on the same day.


Noise Monitoring Surveys

7th November, 2017

Noise monitoring surveys are often conducted in order to assess whether the level of noise produced by a facility is considered acceptable for exposure by either workers or the general public. Noise sensitive receptors are placed in the monitoring locations for a set amount of time (usually 24 hours) in order to assess if/when the noise produced by operations reaches an uncomfortable or harmful level. AIS Environment also assesses the efficiency of protective equipment provided to workers to ensure compliance with safety regulations.

Noise monitoring surveys are required for a number of reasons, particularly for monitoring requirements, permitting requirements and Environmental Impact Assessments. In recent months, AIS Environment has conducted a survey of noise generated by the Marsa and Delimara power plants, as well as an assessment of the noise levels experienced by workers at Lufthansa Technik, located at Malta International Airport in Luqa.


Waste Managment Plans

1st May, 2017

AIS Environment has extensive experience in the preparation of Waste Management Plans (WMP), which are reports requested by the ERA prior to the development of commercial and industrial facilities, outlining the proposed waste management practices for the development.

It ensures that applicants follow waste management practices that are in accordance with the waste hierarchy, which prioritises reducing waste production and the reuse and recycling of waste materials where possible. The aim of this strategy is to decrease the quantity of construction and demolition waste which is disposed of in landfill. WMP’s provide an outline of the practices which will be implemented on and off site to ensure sustainable development of the site and minimal environmental impacts, such as the reuse of waste generated during demolition in construction and the separation of waste for recycling at the source.

AIS have completed Waste Management Plans for a variety of proposed developments, recently including a supermarket in Mosta and a hotel in Marsaxlokk.



Malta Flora & Fauna App

21st April, 2017

AIS Environment was commissioned by the MSDEC to prepare academic information on the most commonly encountered terrestrial species within the Maltese Islands for use within a mobile application.

Various government entities have released a number of free mobile applications to allow Maltese citizens to fill in forms and access information about the Maltese islands. One of the applications that has been released by the MSDEC is called Malta Flora & Fauna. The purpose of this application is to provide biological information on various species of local flora and fauna, a useful tool for all the curious locals that frequent the beautiful Maltese countryside. AIS Environment was involved in the compilation of entries on a total of 800 species of local flora and fauna. Each entry comprises of:

· Scientific, Maltese and English names of the species

· HD photograph of the species

· Frequency and habitat of the species

· 100 word description that describes the species in more detail

The application may be downloaded through the Google Play Store or the App store by inputting ‘Malta Flora & Fauna’ in the search field.



Industrial Permits
28th November, 2016

Industrial Permitting is an umbrella term which includes three separate types of permits, namely Environmental Registration Forms, Environmental Permits (EPs) and Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control (IPPC) permits. AIS Environment has extensive experience in compiling all three types of permits.

Environmental Registration Forms are regulated by General Binding Rules (GBRs) and generally cover the activities of small scale facilities, such as guesthouses and small hotels. EPs are those permits which cover larger scale activities such as holiday complexes and university buildings. IPPC permits are relatively complex industrial permits which are filed for high-risk installations such as power stations.

AIS has extensive experience in compiling various Industrial Permits for a large range of projects. Recently, AIS compiled an Environment Registration Form for a guesthouse in Naxxar. AIS has also completed an EP for the Mellieħa Holiday Centre, and is currently in the process of compiling another EP for the university building of the approved medical school in Victoria, Gozo. This building will form part of the Maltese facility for the Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry. AIS was also commissioned to compile the IPPC permit for the Delimara Power Station.


D3PG Public Hearing

18th November, 2016

AIS Environment has been entrusted by Shangai Electric Power Malta and D3 Power Generation to provide consultancy services for the IPPC process for the conversion of the D3 block at Delimara Power station from operating with heavy fuel oil (HFO) to natural gas and diesel.

The project involves the conversion of the eight existing Wartsila engines, which which had been commissioned by BWSC. Four of the eight engines will be dual fuel meaning that these can be run on diesel in emergency situations such as during shortage of natural gas. The other four will be operated only on natural gas supplied by Electrogas. The IPPC report prepared by AIS Environment addresses the new operational procedures and the respective environmental considerations. A comparative analysis between the current scenario (running on HFO) and that on running on gas is drawn in terms of atmospheric emissions, marine discharges, noise and waste generation.

During the public hearing held in Marsaxlokk on the 18th November, Ruth DeBrincat Tabone on behalf of AIS Environment presented an overview of the environmental considerations both beneficial and non, expected during commissioning and after the conversion of the D3 block within the Delimara Power station. This was done on behalf of D3 Power Generation Ltd.


 Sa Maison Yacht Marina – Monitoring

9th October, 2016

AIS Environment Ltd has been commissioned to carry out monitoring during the construction works for the new yacht marina at Sa Maison, Marsamxett, which was officially named Marina di Valletta. The construction works for this project are expected to last approximately 40 weeks.

Despite the extensive marine activities occurring in Maltese waters, there is a large demand for more berthing facilities, which would not be sufficiently addressed by extending existing marinas. The development will therefore include the installation of four pontoons of varying lengths (100-150m) at Haywharf and Sa Maison, two 25m pontoons in Pietá Creek, a floating breakwater, and protective embankment. Monitoring of air quality, noise and marine ecology will be carried out.


M'Xlokk Coastal Defences 
23rd August 2016

MSDEC entrusted AIS Environment with carrying out an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for the proposed development of coastal sea defences in the Marsaxlokk harbour.

In collaboration with SLR Consulting and Ecospan, the assessment evaluated two alternative designs: one which included repairs and extension to the secondary breakwater arm at Delimara, the construction of a new arm at Ponta tal-Qrejten and the formation of a breach at il-Magħluq; and another with the new Qrejten breakwater and the repair of the Delimara arm (without its extension). The impacts of both schemes were assessed with particular consideration to the nearby il-Ballut saline marshland, since it is internationally designated as a Special Area of Conservation (SAC).
As part of the EIA, AIS Environment carried out cutting-edge hydrodynamic modelling of the bay, which included mapping water depth, current flow, wave conditions, wind factors and tidal effects under a range of scenarios.

Green Public Procurement (GPP)

11th July 2016

The Ministry for Sustainable Development, the Environment and Climate Change (MSDEC) is updating the Green Public Procurement (GPP) procedures and will revise the National Action Plan (NAP) on GPP for 2016-2020.

AIS Environment has been appointed to identify appropriate revisions work and is expected to submit its findings later this year.

GPP is the process whereby public authorities procure goods, services and works that reduce the environmental impact.


Environmental considerations end the Sikka l-Bajda Offshore Windfarm Project

2nd March 2015

Plans to build a 95MW offshore wind farm at Sikka l-Bajda, Malta, have been abandoned after an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) concluded that the impacts on protected land and sea areas cannot be mitigated against.

During the meeting held in public to explain the findings of these studies, EIA Coordinator Ing. Mario Schembri form AIS Environment said that whilst wind energy is a possible source of renewable energy for Malta, locating this windfarm on a marine protected reef that also supported at least four other land-based protected habitats would have severe damaging effects.

Specifically, the studies showed that the offshore windfarm would have adverse impacts on the avifauna (such as the protected Cory’s Shearwater and Yelkouan Shearwater) and marine ecology of the area.

Apart from environmental considerations, there was also an issue with the location of the windfarm cutting through a bunkering area, requiring navigational routes to be diverted and the relocation of at least one fish farm in the area.

The Non-Technical Summary of this project can be downloaded from this link

SMILEGOV Project Update

11th December 2014

AIS Environment is providing technical expertise in research related to sustainable energy. SMILEGOV is a project which focuses on enhancing effective implementation of sustainable energy projects in Islands.

AIS Environment participated in the 3rd Plenary Workshop for SMILEGOV in October 2014. During this workshop knowledge and experience from other participating islands were transferred through activities in relation to the involvement of stakeholders in energy planning.

The aim of the workshop was for the participants to familiarize themselves with participatory planning and decision making techniques that are required during the development of sustainable energy projects. More information about the SMILEGOV project can be found here.

AIS Environment launches new Website

1st November 2014

AIS Environment is pleased to announce the revamp of our website, designed with a fresh new look and user-friendly navigation, updated with the latest information about our services.

The updated project pages contain information about the major work carried out by AIS Environment as the company affirms its position as Malta's leading environmental consultancy firm.

Get in touch
AIS House, 18, St.John Street, Fgura FGR 1447 Malta
T: +356 ­2180 ­3374
F: +356 ­2180 ­3434
AIS Environment Featured Projects
  • EPS Farsons Business Park
    EPS Farsons Business Park
    AIS Environment was entrusted with undertaking an EPS regarding the Farsons Business Park in Mrieħel. The business park has since been approved by the ...
  • Waste to Energy
    Waste to Energy
    The assessment of waste-to-energy technologies, economic feasibility, site assessment and the applicability of a waste-to-energy facility in Malta wer ...
  • SEPEM - Phase 3 conversion - Safety Studies, Atex Report
    SEPEM - Phase 3 conversion - Safety Studies, Atex Report
    A hazard identification study and an explosive atmosphere study were prepared in relation to the fuel conversion pr ...
  • Sewage Treatment Plants
    Sewage Treatment Plants
    Environmental studies were carried out for the three proposed sewage treatment plants aiming at treating sewage before discharge.
  • Inland, Surface and Transitional Waters Baseline Surveys
    Inland, Surface and Transitional Waters Baseline Surveys
    AIS Environment carried out the first national baseline surveys for inland, surface and transitional waters across ...
  • Malta-Sicily Interconnector
    Malta-Sicily Interconnector
    The Interconnector required an Environmental Planning Statement, Construction Monitoring and Marine Environmental Monitoring.
  • Reconstruction and Widening of the Coast Road
    Reconstruction and Widening of the Coast Road
    Construction Monitoring and Ecological baseline surveys were carried out for the widening and upgrading of the Coast Road.
  • Windfarms at Hal Far, Wied Rini and Sikka l-Bajda
    Windfarms at Hal Far, Wied Rini and Sikka l-Bajda
    Environmental Impact Statements and Appropriate Assessments were carried out by AIS Environment for two onshore and one offshore windfarms in Malta.
Contact AIS Environment on +356 ­2180 3374 or E: