VALLETTA, May 29 (Xinhua) -- Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat signed a letter of intent with Italy's Sicilian authorities on Monday for the construction of a gas pipeline.
The gas pipeline is expected to cost 320 million euros (357 million U.S. dollars), and will take approximately seven years to complete.
Muscat said the signing represented a significant milestone that would help develop the country's infrastructure.
He said that the government had invested a significant amount of energy to ensure that Malta was on the same page as the Sicilian authorities in order to make the project a reality.
Plans for a pipeline were aligned with the European Union's plans for increased energy connectivity, and would reduce Malta's isolation in terms of energy, he added.
The pipe will be roughly 160 km long, 152 of which would be under the sea. Its deepest point will be 160 metres deep and have a capacity of 2 billion cubic metres per year.