EIB grants $220 million loan for Spain-France power interconnection

The European Investment Bank (EIB) has approved a €175 million ($220.1 million) loan to Spanish power company Red Eléctrica de España (REE), representing the Spanish part of the finance for the Spain-France power interconnection.

The power transmission line 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 (31km and Spain 33.5km in France).

The section crossing the Pyrenees will be laid in an 8.5km tunnel alongside those of the Perpignan-Figueras high-speed rail line. The interconnection is scheduled to be operational in 2014.

EIB stated that the power interconnection is the first trans-European direct current link using innovative converter technology. The interconnection is aimed to double electricity exchange capacity between Spain and the rest of Europe (from 1,400 to 2,800MW).

Entire project will be developed with an investment capital of €700 million ($880.5 million), 50% of which provided by the EIB. The project has also received a €225 million ($283 million) EU grant under the European Energy Programme for Recovery.