EIB finances submarine high-voltage electricity link between Italy and Sardinia

Luxembourg, May 13, 2008 — The European Investment Bank is advancing over $464 million loan to Terna – Rete Elettrica Nazionale S.p.A. to help finance a new submarine high-voltage power cable between the Italian mainland and Sardinia.

The project, known as SAPEI involves laying a 1000 MW power cable with a submarine section length of 420 km and two short land lines, linked to two converter stations.

Upon completion of the works, two records will be set:

* The link will be the deepest direct-current cable ever laid (1600m at the deepest point);
* The length of the cable (420 km) will make it one of the longest ever laid according to the company.

SAPEI will replace the direct-current power line between Sardinia, Corsica and Italy (SACOI), and encourage the development of wind power on Sardinia.

The new cable is expected to improve the reliability and stability of the Sardinian power grid and enable the electricity generated by wind farms, which are being developed on the island, to be transmitted to the mainland.

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