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EBRD Supports Montenegro’s Power Grid Upgrade, Link to Italy

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development approved a 65 million-euro ($85 million) financing package to upgrade Montenegro’s power grid as it plans an electricity link to Italy across the Adriatic.

The EBRD’s board of directors approved the syndicated loan for grid operator Crnogorski Elektroprenosni Sistem, or CGES, the London-based lender said an e-mailed statement late yesterday. CGES will develop a 400-kilovolt, 155 kilometer- (97 miles-) line from the northern Montenegrin town of Pljevlja to Lastva on the coast and a substation that will link up with the 375-kilometer undersea cable it plans with Italy’s Terna Rete Elettrica Nazionale SpA.

“The project will support the development of the regional electricity market in southeastern Europe by creating the required infrastructure for an exchange” between the region and Italy,’’ the EBRD said in the statement. “This link will increase cross-border trade, increase competition and stimulate investment, particularly in renewable energy.”

The 1 gigawatt cable along the seabed will help power sales from the Balkans, where energy investments include hydro plants, wind and solar farms by Maccaferri Group’s Seci Energia SpA, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd., Spain’s Fersa Energias Renovables SA and Securum Equity Partners & Associates.

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