BRUSSELS (BELGIUM) (ITALPRESS/MNA) – The signing ceremony of the Grant Agreement for the Elmed electricity interconnection project that will connect Europe and North Africa took place in Brussels, an agreement concerning a project that will be built by Terna, the company that manages the Italian electricity transmission network, and Steg, the Tunisian electricity and gas company.
Kadri Simson, European Commissioner for Energy, Giuseppina Di Foggia, CEO and General Director of Terna, and Fayçel Tarifa, President and General Director of Steg, signed the agreement, ratified last August, and will financing an allocation of 307 million euros by the European Commission, intended for the submarine connection between Italy and Tunisia.
The funds from the EU funding program “Connecting Europe Facility”, intended for the development of key projects for the strengthening of community energy infrastructure, have been allocated for the first time in history to a project between a Member State and a state outside the EU.
“Elmed, the electricity connection that will unite Italy and Tunisia, is exceptional in many respects. It is the first electricity infrastructure under the Connecting Europe Facility fund to receive funding for projects developed by a Member State and a third country. I want to congratulate the parties involved for demonstrating effective collaboration and I wish the project the best success”, said Kadri Simson. “Today’s agreement confirms Ternàs increasingly central role in contributing to the creation of a safe, reliable and resilient European electricity grid. We will also continue to collaborate with other institutions in the future, making both our unique and distinctive skills available and innovative and digitalised solutions”, declared Giuseppina Di Foggia. She added: “Elmed is a strategic infrastructure for Italy and Europe, one of the main initiatives as part of Ternàs Development Plan, and will contribute to increase and integrate renewable energy between the two continents, allowing the country and the EU to increase the level of energy independence”.
“The financing of 307 million euros, intended for a strategic project like Elmed, confirms the long-standing partnership between the Tunisian Government and the European Union in the energy sector, as well as the importance that this project was agreed to secure energy for the future, that will be sustainable and renewable. We are convinced that Elmed will contribute to achieving the goal of energy transition in Tunisia by 2030 and increasing the country’s energy independence. The interconnection, which will connect the Tunisian electricity grid to the Italian grid through a 600 MW submarine cable, also symbolizes the exceptional level of cooperation between the two continents and, in particular, in the Mediterranean, between Tunisia and Italy, and will open the horizon to numerous other projects in the region, thanks to the support of the European Union institutions”, said Fayçel Tarifa.
The electricity connection of approximately 220 km in length (of which approximately 200 km in submarine cable at a maximum depth of approximately 800 metres), 600 MW of power and a total of 850 million euros of investment will also contribute to the integration of the electricity markets and secure energy supply through the diversification of sources.
Elmed will make it possible to reduce climate-changing emissions, enabling the achievement of the objectives set at national and European level on energy and climate by the National Integrated Plan for Energy and Climate and by the Green New Deal. The PCI Energy Days bring together member countries, regulators, network operators and promoters of Projects of Common Interest – such as Elmed – to share successful experiences and upcoming challenges for the modernization and development of community energy infrastructures.
– Photo press office Terna –