Work has begun on the underground trench for the remainder of the line
The construction of the tunnel for the electricity interconnection between Spain and France has already reached a point 4.7 kilometres from the Spanish side, which when added to the 400 metres that the Canigó tunnel boring machine has already drilled from the French side, completes 60% of the total the length of the tunnel (8.5 kilometres).
Both tunnel boring machines, Alberes, which began work in March from La Junquera, and Canigó, which began work in early November on the French side from Montesquieu des Alberes, will continue drilling until they meet up, foreseeably in March 2013, if the current working conditions are maintained.
In total, the electricity interconnection from Santa Llogaia (near the Spanish town of Figueras) to Baixas (near Perpignan, France), will have a length of 64.5 kilometres, of which 8.5 are in the eastern Pyrenees and the remaining 56 kilometres will be housed in a trench.
This week work began on the underground trench section on the Spanish side, 30 kilometres (from Santa Llogaia to La Junquera) and also includes about 20 directional drillings, designed to minimise the environmental impact of the line and avoid large obstacles such as roads, rivers and railways. To date two have been completed, between the towns of Biure and Pont de Molins.
This interconnection will become the longest underground interconnection in Europe and will also be the one with the largest electricity transmission capacity in direct current, with two cables of 1,000 megawatts (MW) each, which will increase the total electricity exchange capacity between Spain and France up to 2,800 MW, which will double the current capacity and increase the security of the peninsular electricity system.