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EIB grants EUR130 million for 1,200 MW Italy–France interconnector [free access]

July 26, 2017

The European Investment Bank (EIB) has granted funding worth EUR130 million to Italy’s Terna Energy Group for the Piedmont–Savoy link between France and Italy.


The underground cable project, also known as the Piemonte–Savoia interconnection, will span 190 km through the Alps and will be the world’s longest high voltage direct current (HVDC) underground interconnection project using extruded cable technology.


The 1,200 MW project has been identified as a project of common interest (PCI) at the community level by the European Commission (EC), and will enable the transfer of 1,200 MW of electricity between the two countries. It entails setting up a ±320 kV extruded HVDC underground cable system comprising two 600 MW bipolar circuits between Piossasco substation near Turin in Italy and Grand-Ile in Savoy, France, with a line length of 95 km in each country.


The project is expected to enhance the transmission capacity between France and Italy substantially, thereby improving diversification and security of supply, and enhancing electricity market integration.


The entire project is expected to cost EUR500 million. In Italy, about half of the investment for the new power line will be borne by the Piedmont-Savoy Srl (a company wholly-controlled by Terna SpA’s subsidiary Terna Interconnector Srl) and the other half by Transenergia, a company jointly-owned by Sitaf and Compagnia Italiana Energia (CIE), each with a share of 50 per cent. The cost of the French section of the project will be entirely borne by France’s TSO Réseau de Transport D’Electricité.


In March 2014, a consortium led by Italian cable maker Prysmian, and comprising seven companies, was selected to execute the HVDC cross-border interconnection project.


The project is expected to be commissioned by 2019.