AdriaLink’s project for two electricity interconnectors between Italy and Slovenia is on track with construction works scheduled to begin next year and commissioning seen in 2017, said Enel SpA, one of the company’s co-owners, SeeNews reported.
In 2009, local utilities operator Acegas-Aps SpA, Enel and electricity trading and generation firm Tei Energy SpA signed a memorandum of association for AdriaLink with the aim to build and operate electricity interconnection infrastructure between Italy and Slovenia. Two underground power lines planned by AdriaLink will connect Zaule electricity station in the province of Trieste with the Dekani station in Slovenia, and Redipuglia station in the province of Gorizia with Vrtojba in Slovenia, respectively. At the time, the investment cost of the projects was estimated at around EUR 40 million.
The construction of Redipuglia–Vrtojba and Dekani–Zaule lines will not be affected by the negative decision linked to a third party’s project connecting Udine West to Redipuglia, qualified by both countries’ regulators as one of the works needed to ensure the maximum efficiency of the two AdriaLink cables, an Enel Group spokesman told SeeNews in an email. In fact, the exemptions granted by the European Union to the AdriaLink projects provide for a recalculation of their capacity to take into consideration lines either under construction or already completed, the spokesman said.
In July, the Council of state – a legal-administrative consultative body that ensures the legality of public administration in Italy – revoked a license held by the country’s environment ministry for the construction of a cable linking Udine West and Redipuglia, which the Italian transmission grid operator Terna SpA had planned to build in Friuli Venezia Giulia, a region adjacent to Slovenia. According to industry sources, the issue could still be resolved in time for the planned commissioning of the AdriaLink powerlines in 2017 because Terna, the owner of Udine West – Redipuglia, is expected to appeal before Italy’s Supreme Court on the grounds that the council of state’s rejection was due to a mere procedural defect.
The awarded exemption will allow AdriaLink to withhold profits generated by cross-border transmission capacity auctions between Italy and Slovenia in proportion to the amount of capacity added by the new cables. The exemptions will last 10 years for the Dekani–Zaule line and 16 years for Redipuglia–Vrtojba, the spokesperson said. The 300 MW of the new interconnectors is expected to bring total capacity between Italy and Slovenia to more than 1 GW.