Tunisia has submitted a grant application to the European Union to finance the electricity interconnection project between Tunisia and Italy "El Med". This was revealed by the Director General of Electricity and Energy Transition at the Tunisian Ministry of Industry, Belhassan Chiboub, in statement to the “Tap” news agency. According to Chiboub, this project, which has an estimated investment cost of around 800 million euros, will be operational in 2027 and will consist of laying a 200-kilometer submarine cable between Italy and Tunisia. According to the official, the project will allow Tunisia to meet its energy needs and export the surplus to the European market. Chiboub also added that the World Bank granted Tunisia on 13 September 2018 a loan of 12,5 million dollars to finance technical studies related to the Project.
The "El Med" project consists of laying a 200-kilometer submarine cable with a capacity of 600 megawatts and completing the stations for the interconnection between the Tunisian and Italian electricity networks, between Sicily and the province of Nabeul, in Malabi area, and its transmission via an overhead line to Mornaguia station. For a long time there has been talk of a "Sicily-Tunisia electric bridge". The interconnection will allow Italy and Tunisia to exchange electricity, thus diversifying supplies and strengthening the reliability and resilience of the electricity grids on both sides of the Mediterranean. In particular, in the long term, it will allow Tunisia to export electricity produced from renewable sources to the countries of North Africa as well. With "El Med"in essence, Italy can become the European hub for the transmission and dispatching of electricity in the Mediterranean. The electricity project involves the Italian company Terna and the Tunisian operator Steg.