The World Bank (WB) has granted Tunisia a 12.5-million-dollar donation (34.8 million dinars) to finance technical studies related to the electricity interconnection project between Tunisia and Italy called “ELMED”.
“The objective of the technical assistance phase of this project, which should be carried out in a period not exceeding one year, is to carry out five technical feasibility studies, environmental and social impact,” said the Minister of Development, Investment and International Co-operation, Zied Ladhari.
Speaking at the agreement signing ceremony, held in Tunis on Thursday, the minister explained that the technical assistance phase of the ELMED project will mobilize a $ 13.4 million investment budget.
“The Tunisian State will contribute $ 0.9 million and the $ 12.5 million will be provided by two trust funds managed by the WB; namely the ESMAP trust fund (Energy sector management assistance program) which will grant $ 5.5 million and the GIF (global platform for infrastructure fund ($ 7 million), “he said.
For the realization of the project “ELMED”, whose total cost is estimated at €600 million (1,800 million dinars), the EU is committed to mobilize half of the budget and the rest will be financed at through Public / Private Partnerships, said Ladhari.
He added that once completed, this project will enable Tunisia to meet its energy needs and export the surplus to the European market.
For his part, the representative of the World Bank in Tunisia Tony Verheijen, emphasized the strategic importance of the Elmed interconnection project which will strengthen the overall security of the Euro-Mediterranean electricity system, by diversifying the sources and supply routes. “It is also about optimizing the use of energy resources in countries on both sides of the Mediterranean,” he added.
“Elmed”, is a project that will achieve a submarine high voltage interconnection of 200 km, with a power of 600 MW, which will link Tunisia and Italy.