The Tunisia-Italy power line receives a US$268 million loan

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The Tunisia-Italy power line receives a US$268 million loan from the World Bank Group to fund an electricity interconnection project that will connect power grids between Tunisia and Europe. The aim is to strengthen the World Bank Group’s longstanding partnership with the Tunisian government in the energy sector, while at the same time positioning the country as a regional hub for renewable energy through a 600-megawatt undersea cable.

The Tunisia-Italy power line project “ELMED” is estimated at around 850 million euros.

Funding from the World Bank Group will cover part of the total investment for the construction of a main converter station and associated substations on the Tunisian side, including support for the implementation of the interconnector. The World Bank Group’s technical assistance includes support for the establishment of a Renewable Energy Center of Excellence to position Tunisia as a training center for renewable energy projects in the North African region.

Tunisia’s 600 megawatt power line interconnection project will connect Capo Bon to Sicily. It is being carried out by Terna of Italy and Steg of Tunisia and is due to be completed by 2028. The agreement, signed by Tunisian Economy and Planning Minister Samir Said, falls within the framework of the partnership between Tunisia and the World Bank for the period 2023-2027, which was suspended on March 6th.

World Bank Country Manager for Tunisia, Alexandre Arrobbio, stated: “ELMED is the first World Bank project under the new Country Partnership Framework (CPF) 2023-27 announced last week. Support for the Tunisian Government’s Energy Strategy 2035, which aims to rapidly increase renewable energy to 35% of total energy consumption is one of the Bank’s key priorities in implementing the new CPF.”

Read more:  Feasibility study underway for Elmed Mediterranean (Italy-Tunisia) electricity interconnector

Italy’s goal of being a European energy hub and connecting with Africa to import electricity from renewable energy sources is part of its strategy to eliminate its dependence on Russian gas via the Tunisian power line with Italy.