“Our country is gaining back €1,200 million for every €141 million we are investing in infrastructure” – Minister Ian Borg

Reference Number: PR190789, Press Release Issue Date: Apr 15, 2019
 

“€1,200 million in benefits from €141 million – this is what our country will gain when considering
just 7 infrastructural projects on our country’s roads. The Marsa-Ħamrun Bypass, the Marsa Junction,
Tal-Balal Road, Buqana Road, the Santa Luċija tunnels and Saint Andrews Road – these projects will
give us €7 for every €1 we are investing in them. We are speaking about a 61% rate of return on
investment for what the government is investing,” said Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and
Capital Projects Ian Borg during a conference organised by Infrastructure Malta.

 
 
 

During this conference, attended by representatives of several organisations and entities, including
workers’ unions and entrepreneur and employer associations, a study commissioned by Infrastructure
Malta was presented. This study, carried out by Dr Gordon Cordina and concentrating on 7
infrastructural projects, highlights the benefits which such infrastructural investments bring to the
economy and to our road network.
Dr Cordina presented the outcomes of this study in the form of quantifiable and non-quantifiable
benefits. Among quantifiable benefits, it is anticipated that these projects will lead to 62,000 tonnes
less CO2 emissions per year, 5 million hours saved on travelling time per year and €25 million saved
on fuel per year, among others. This means that an individual will save €75 on fuel every year for
every vehicle, which is equivalent to 61% of the COLA given in the 2019 budget.
“Infrastructural projects which make a positive difference to the country’s economy, to the people’s
pockets, to the environment, and to the time remaining to be spent with families or to dedicate to
work. Today we can see the value of these projects, these solutions to the challenges of traffic and
congestion, projects we have been speaking about for the last year and a half and which we always
knew would make a difference in the lives of those who use these roads every day,” said Minister Ian
Borg.

 
 
 

Minister Borg expressed his satisfaction with the results which highlight economic benefits and
several other gains, including health gains, from every penny the government is investing in our roads,
and said that this only means that our country spent years losing money and suffering from problems
caused by a passive attitude where the necessary actions were not taken, where interventions like this
towards an improved infrastructure were never implemented but remained shelved plans.
He referred to the study carried out by the European Commission in 2012 about costs related to
congestion, and said that if this government hadn’t taken these positive steps towards an appropriate
infrastructure, these costs would have kept going up, but not only did this not happen; to the contrary,
with just these 7 projects we have already seen a predicted reduction of 14% in costs over a number
of years.
“The government believes it should bring economic benefits to the people in every possible way, and
in this case, we are giving people more quality time with their families, less waiting time in traffic,
an opportunity to contribute more at the workplace, while contributing to a reduction in health
problems through less congestion, among others. These are the results we wanted to achieve from
investment. The people’s money has been entrusted to the government and we have the duty to invest
them in the best possible way. And I therefore welcome Dr Cordina’s recommendations to invest part
of these gains towards complementary measures such as investment in green infrastructure and it is
my pleasure to announce that I will be putting forward this proposal for the next budget for the year
2020,” said Minister Borg.
Minister Borg stressed that the government will not stop here and will continue implementing its
holistic plan towards less congestion and less emissions, even through the promotion of alternative
means, including public transport, transport using the ferries and schemes towards cleaner means,
while continuing with the study towards mass transport.

 
 
 

“Today we could also see how every type of solution, small or large, short or long-term, is having a
positive impact. And we will therefore continue implementing short, medium and long-term solutions
to our infrastructure. Today is clear proof that this government’s holistic plan is working and bearing
fruit which will continue lead to benefits today and tomorrow, clear proof that our roads are a chain
and investment made on every link has a positive impact on the whole network. These benefits we
are discussing today are the result of 7 projects; so how many more benefits are there when
considering all the projects being or planned to be implemented on our road network? Our
determination to work towards more and more benefits does not die today but will continue getting
stronger. We have made decisions that have not always been easy to make, and we will continue
making them because our people’s quality of life cannot improve only through plans and words but
needs to improve through facts. This was, is and will remain a government that plans, works and
implements for more and more benefits towards an improved standard of living,” concluded Minister
Ian Borg.
Infrastructure Malta CEO Eng. Fredrick Azzopardi explained how the results that have come out of
Dr Cordina’s study is encouraging for all those working on the planning and implementation of road
projects within the agency Infrastructure Malta, as well as all stakeholders. He added that the
investment being made should be a continuous process to ensure that the country’s infrastructure
continues to have these positive effects. And therefore, Infrastructure Malta’s work and plans go
further than these seven projects which have been evaluated. Engineer Azzopardi concluded by
saying that the agency is committed to continue implementing the infrastructural programme on a
national level, which is aimed at improving quality and improving the same infrastructure so that our
country can continue benefitting from sustainable economic development while catering for the needs
of thousands of road users, for an improved quality of life.