Italy, Albania to Be Linked By Undersea Electric
Jan 21, 2008 - BBC Monitoring
Italy and Albania in a network. With
mutual advantages. Italy will help to modernize
Tirana's electricity system. And Albania will be
able to act as an energy lung, to meet - when needed
- our country's growing need for electricity. Yesterday
came a new significant step forward, with the go-ahead
from the Albanian Government for the project by
the Moncada Costruzioni group in Agrigento, Italy's
fifth-largest producer of wind power, for a private
undersea electricity cable (merchant line [previous
two words in English in original]) to be laid between
the two coasts.
The power line, with a high-tension
capacity of 500 megawatts, at 400 kV, representing
an investment of 240 million euros, will be 145
km long, of which 14 km will be buried under Italian
soil, one km under Albanian soil, and 130 km laid
undersea. It will be laid on the bed of the Straits
of Otranto, between Vlore and South Brindisi, reaching
depths of 900 m.
The cable is intended for an exchange
of electricity between the two countries, but is
set to strengthen the hypothesis of an energy hub
[previous word in English in original] between Italy
and the Balkans. On October 26 last year Terna,
Italy's company for electricity transmission, had
already signed an accord with the Croat network
operator Hep-Ops, for a feasibility study for undersea
interconnection with Italy. On November 7 Terna
also signed an accord with the Economic Development
Ministry and with an electricity company in Montenegro,
EPCG, for a fesibility study for a further 500 MW
or 1,000 MW interconnection cable, with a length
of over 300 km.
To start with, the accord announced
yesterday with Tirana will favour "imports into
Italy of the wind energy which the Moncada group
will generate in Albania, where the production installation,
already authorized in December by the Albanian Government,
with its potential of 500 MW, will constitute the
largest wind power station ever built in Europe,
with an investment of 750 million euros," noted
the Moncada group.
The work was directly spurred on by
Albanian Prime Minister Sali Berisha, while the
chairman of the Agrigento branch of Confindustria
[Italian employers' association], Giuseppe Catanzaro,
referred to the Moncada group as a "centre of excellence
which, from Sicily, is succeeding in establishing
itself as an element of growth for all of Italy's
southern regions, simply by implementing brave investments,
and taking concrete steps."
Originally published by Il Sole-24
Ore website, Milan, in Italian 18 Jan 08.
(c) 2008 BBC Monitoring European.
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