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MALTATODAY 14 August 2022

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8 maltatoday | SUNDAY • 14 AUGUST 2022 NEWS MATTHEW VELLA MALTA'S dairy and livestock farms are generating up to 200 metric tonnes of slurry waste every day, necessitating a new strategy to put all this animal excrement, to good use. The generation of animal ma- nure is so intense, it requires a daily collection with an aver- age of 150-200 metric tonnes of farm solids produced daily from the Sant'Antnin treat- ment plant, with peak genera- tion reaching 250 metric tonnes a day. In April 2021, the Sant'Ant- nin plant started handling slur- ry waste, the livestock manure stored in farms and disposed of using bowsers. Most of this slurry hails from cow and pig husbandry. But due to continued discharge of farm waste into Malta's sewage network, this illegal practice slowed down the setting-up of a dedicated manure and slurry treatment facility. This practice has, over the years, contributed to the dis- ruption and overload of Malta's urban wastewater treatment infrastructure, which itself is a breach of EU sewage rules. After Malta became an EU member, swine and dairy farm- ers had to modify their tradi- tional rearing systems, which previously involved keeping livestock on solid floors. These had to be changed to separate the animals from their excreta, resulting in better animal wel- fare and also facilitating clean- ing on farms. Now the Sant'Antnin plant, as well as three mobile units used on farms, de-water the slurry to generate solid waste. The agriculture ministry is seeking operators that will collect farm waste solids to be turned into a bio-resource for reuse in agri- culture. In 2018, a private company – Tenega – had unsuccessfully sought permitting for a manure processing plant in Xlendi, as a solution to the problem of farms in Gozo spreading un- treated manure on agricultural land. The practice contains high levels of nitrates on fields, is en- dangering the water table, and if farmers discharge the waste into the sewage system, it can clog sewage treatment plants. But objectors had said the truckloads of manure would be driven through the centre of the village of Munxar, express- ing fears about the odours of the transport slurry. Over 200 daily tonnes of animal manure need collecting Sun to power 10% of Corinthia Marina hotel JAMES DEBONO THE Corinthia Group has embarked on a "sustainability drive" which will see photovol- taic installations erected across all the roofs of Corinthia prop- erties in Malta. This project will see the in- stallation of solar panels with a total power of 1.6 mega- watt-power erected across all the roofs of Corinthia proper- ties in Malta. The group has already pre- sented a planning application cover the massive 3,500sq.m roof of the low-rise Marina Hotel in St George's Bay with solar panels, which was to be demolished in previous plans presented in 2019 to accom- modate at least two large tow- ers. "This project is intended to reduce the carbon footprint of the Group without creating visual pollution, as the pan- els will always be laid below parapet wall heights," a group spokesperson told MaltaTo- day. At the Marina Hotel, the 161kWp system is expect- ed to generate 250,000 kilo- Watt-hours every year. This represents just above 10% of the electrical consumption of the hotel. The group did not reply when asked how the planned solar panels on the marina ho- tel would be impacted by ad- jacent high-rise developments like the now approved DB project, especially in terms of shadowing. The Corinthia hotels group had objected to the DB group's high-rise project and presented studies of how the downsized City Centre project would cast a long shadow on its hotels' landscaped gardens and pool areas. Neither did the group an- swer when asked how the pro- posed solar panels tally with previous plans issued in 2019 which foresaw the demolition and replacement of the ma- rina hotel with a number of towers replacing the Marina and Radisson Hotels. Back in 2019, Corinthia was seeking the approval of 100,000sq.m of office and res- idential space on its grounds through changes in its agree- ment with government, which currently limits development to tourism accommodation. The agreement has not been signed yet. Siggiewi football ground expansion has residents concerned JAMES DEBONO SIGGIEWI FC is seeking an ex- tension to its present, discreet facilities, with a supporters stand for 469 seats, a multipur- pose hall, a retail outlet and ca- tering facility. But residents fear that the in- creased height of the facilities will obstruct the open views of Rabat, Mdina, Mtarfa, Ta' Qali and Mosta which can be pres- ently be enjoyed by anyone walking along the area. As it stands, the height of the football stand is only higher than street level, but the new plans are proposing a height of 6m above street level. Residents also fear that the expansion of the seating ar- ea and the proposed catering facilities will exacerbate the parking problems and noise pollution in their quite neigh- bourhood. T h e football ground, lo- cated outside development zones, seats 240 supporters and faces the open country- side, as well as residential ar- eas in Triq Wied Hesri where a housing estate is being built and the long-established neighbourhood in Triq Dun Manwel Zammit. Siggiewi FC currently plays in the Maltese National Am- ateur League. The synthetic pitch was inaugurated in 2010 and also hosts matches from the youth football leagues. The club said no trees will be uprooted in the stadium's upgrade, but the Environ- ment and Resources Author- ity asked the club to clarify whether whether the trees lining the adjacent pavement shall be affected by the works.

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