The fourth edition of the PCI Energy Days in Brussels, a policy conference and exhibition dedicated to the practical implementation of Projects of Common Interest, set the stage for a significant milestone with the signature of the Grant Agreement for the Elmed electrical interconnection. Facilitated by Med-TSO members Terna and Steg, this pioneering initiative aims to establish an invisible energy bridge connecting Europe and North Africa.
Insights from the event
Kadri Simson, EU Commissioner for Energy, alongside Giuseppina Di Foggia, CEO and General Manager of Terna, and Fayçel Tarifa, Chairman and General Manager of Steg, convened to celebrate the agreement. Ratified in August, this agreement secures €307 million in funding from the Commission for the undersea power line between Italy and Tunisia.
This historic agreement marks a paradigm shift, as it is the inaugural instance of EU funds from the “Connecting Europe Facility” program allocated to a project linking a Member State and a Third State. Kadri Simson lauded the Elmed project as a trailblazing example of authentic interconnectivity, championing its pivotal role in advancing regional energy integration.
Giuseppina Di Foggia emphasised Terna’s essential role in fortifying Europe’s electricity grid security and resilience. Elmed, a strategic infrastructure within Terna’s Development Plan, significantly contributes to renewable energy integration across continents, fostering energy independence.
Fayçel Tarifa highlighted the robust partnership between the Tunisian Government and the EU in the energy sector, underlining Elmed’s significance in fostering secure, sustainable, and renewable energy futures. Elmed symbolises exceptional cooperation between continents and Mediterranean shores.
The Elmed interconnection, spanning about 220 km (with around 200 km underwater at a maximum depth of 800 m), generating 600 MW power and a total investment of €850 million, promises diversified energy sources, improved market integration, and enhanced supply security. Aligned with Italian and European energy and climate objectives, Elmed aims to reduce climate-altering emissions, aligning with the Integrated National Energy and Climate Plan and the Green New Deal.