Italian electricity transmission system operator Terna has said it plans to complete the laying of the power transmission cable linking Montenegro to Italy by the end of 2019.
The project will enhance the role of Italy in the Balkan and Mediterranean power systems, increase cross-border exchange capacity and facilitate the gradual integration of the markets in the region, Terna said in a statement on Thursday.
The power interconnection will have a transfer capacity of 600 MW and not 1,200 MW as initially planned, the CEO of Terna, Luigi Ferraris, told analysts during the presentation of the company's 2017 financial results, according to Italian media reports.
Terna is looking to include the project in Italy's "Interconnector" scheme, providing incentives to operators of international power links to encourage the import of cheaper electricity, Ferraris said.
Terna said in February 2017 it completed the laying of the 433 km undersea section of the high-voltage direct current (HVDC) cable running from Montenegro's Rta Jaz to Italy's Pescara.
The European Commission, together with Germany's development bank KfW and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), provided 3.5 million euro ($4.3 million) financial assistance for project identification and preparation of the Montenegro section, under the Western Balkans Investment Framework. The European Union further supported the financing of the works under the 2015 Connectivity Agenda, through a 25 million euro grant.
The undersea connection between Italy and Montenegro represents a link of the 400 kV Trans-Balkan Electricity Corridor, connecting Serbia, Bosnia and Montenegro to the European Union grid.