The European Union agreed to finance a project for the electrical interconnection between Tunisia and Italy, passing through the Mediterranean Sea, to diversify energy sources from Tunisia.
This came in a statement issued by the Tunisian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, on Thursday evening, in which it said that the financing of the European bloc for the project amounts to 307.6 million euros ($323 million).
The project proposal dates back to 2003, and since then Tunisia and Italy have been in talks to implement a joint electrical interconnection, to meet the growing demand for energy, especially in Tunisia, and to diversify sources of energy supply.
And the foreign ministry’s statement, on Thursday, stated that “Tunisia appreciates the European Commission’s announcement of its agreement to allocate 307.6 million euros to finance the electrical interconnection project across the sea between Tunisia and Italy, known as the ELMED project.”
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And she added, “This step is the culmination of unremitting efforts and a course of negotiations with various partners, with the contribution of all concerned national structures.”
The project will enable Tunisia to meet energy needs, enhance security and energy transition, as well as achieve integration and integration with Europe in the field of renewable energies, according to the statement.
Data from the World Bank show that the annual demand for electricity in Tunisia is growing at an average of 2.2 percent, amid scarcity of domestic resources and increasing dependence on generating energy sources from abroad, and the consequences of that on the exacerbation of the trade balance deficit.
According to the World Bank, the capacity of the proposed interconnection lines between the two countries is 600 megawatt-hours, which is a vital project that would expand connectivity with other countries in Africa and Europe.
The interconnection lines extend from the Cape Al-Tayeb region, northeast of Tuss, on the Mediterranean, to the Italian island of Sicily, and would help Tunisia supply 16 percent of its electricity needs.