The European Investment Bank (EIB) is to provide €350m ($467.5m) in funding for a power interconnector between France and Spain.

The finance will account for half of the total €700m needed to bankroll the project, which will be built between Figueres in Spain and Baixas, near Perpignan. A further €225m will come from the European Energy Programme for Recovery.

The EIB cash represents a loan to the grid operators of the two countries, France’s RTE and Spain’s REE.  

The interconnector will be laid in 64.5 km of underground trenches ­– 31 km in Spain and 33.5 km in France. An 8.5 km tunnel will be built alongside the Perpignan-Figueras high-speed rail line to enable the interconnector to cross the Pyrenees.

The interconnector is scheduled to be operational in 2014, when it is intended to double the capacity between Spain and the rest of Europe from 1400 MW to 2800 MW.

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