EC clears funding for 600-MW Italy-Tunisia interconnector
Map of Italy-Tunisia interconnector. Image by: Terna SpA.
The European Commission announced on Thursday it will disburse EUR 307.6 million (USD 323m) to finance the construction of a 600-MW undersea interconnection facility between Italy and Tunisia that will create a renewable energy bridge between Europe and Africa.
The high-voltage cable link, called the ELMED interconnector, is planned to extend for more than 200 kilometres and reach a depth of up to 800 metres. It will start from the Italian province of Trapani, on the west coast of Sicily, and via the Strait of Sicily will stretch to Cape Bon peninsula in Tunisia. Developed by Italian grid operator Terna SpA (BIT:TRN) and its Tunisian peer STEG, the scheme calls for an investment of some EUR 850 million.
The EU funds will be sourced from the Connecting Europe Facility, from which the EC will also back eight cross-border energy infrastructure projects with EUR 602 million.
The Italian Ministry of the Environment and Energy Security has already kicked off the authorisation process for the project, Terna said. It noted that the scheme will help improve Italy’s energy security by imports of renewable power from Africa and will cut its reliance on Russian gas.
“Thanks to this project, Italy will be able to firmly establish itself as the Mediterranean energy hub,” said Terna’s CEO Stefano Donnarumma.
A public consultation for the project was concluded by Terna in Italy in July 2021.
Veselina Petrova is one of Renewables Now's most experienced green energy writers. For several years she has been keeping track of game-changing events both large and small projects and across the globe.