Terna launches Italy-Montenegro undersea power interconnection

Italian electricity transmission system operator Terna officially put into operation an undersea power cable linking Montenegro to Italy, it said.

The undersea cable represents the first "electrical bridge" between Europe and the Balkans, a crucial connection which will enable Italy to reinforce its role as European and Mediterranean electricity transmission hub, Terna said in a statement issued after the interconnection was inaugurated by Italian President Sergio Mattarella and his Montenegrin counterpart Milo Djukanovic at an official ceremony held simultaneously in Italy and Montenegro.

"Montenegro will have significant revenues based on the 20% stake of power transmission system operator Crnogorski Elektroprenosni Sistem (CGES) share in the total cable capacity. Through greater utilisation of the 400 kV network, we will reduce transmission losses and increase the level of technical resilience of the energy system. Ultimately, revenues from transit and leasing of transmission capacity will have the effect of reducing the costs of transmission system users," Djukanovic said in a video file posted on the website of Montenegrin public broadcaster RTCG.

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The interconnection will allow a bi-directional exchange of electricity between the two countries of 600 MW of power initially, which will become 1,200 MW when a second cable is laid within the next few years, Terna said.

The 1.15 billion euro ($1.27 billion) project consists of an interconnection between Montenegro – Italy (underwater cable), the construction and enhancement of the internal 400 kV network in Montenegro, and the construction of 400 kV overhead lines between Montenegro, Serbia and Bosnia. The total length of the power line is 445 km and 423 km of it is laid on the seabed.