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EIB provides €350m loan for France-Spain interconnector

The European Investment Bank (EIB) is providing a €350 million loan to grid operators RTE and REE to build direct current (DC) interconnector between France and Spain.

By Kari Williamson

The power interconnector could be the first electricity link of this power in Europe using voltage source converter (VSC) technology.

The electricity link will connect the municipalities of Santa Llogaia (near Figueras) and Baixas (near Perpignan) and will be laid entirely underground in 64.5 km of trenches (31 km and Spain 33.5 km in France). The section crossing the Albera Massif (Pyrenees) will be laid in an 8.5 km tunnel alongside those of the Perpignan-Figueras high-speed rail line.

The primary purpose is to double electricity exchange capacity between Spain and the rest of Europe from 1.4 2.8 GW.

The commercial launch of the interconnector is scheduled for 2014 and the project has a total budget of €700m. The power interconnector is also receiving a €225m EU grant under the European Energy Programme for Recovery.

EIB, RTE and REE were joined by Inelfe in closing the financing deal.

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