Tunis, June 21, 2023 — The World Bank Group Board of Directors on Wednesday approved $268.4 million in financing for the Tunisia-Italy interconnector (ELMED) project that will link energy grids between Tunisia and Europe and support renewable energy trade essential to Tunisia’s sustainable development and climate change strategy.
The landmark ELMED project strengthens the World Bank Group's longstanding partnership with the Tunisian government in the energy sector while positioning the country as a regional hub for renewable energy by connecting Tunisia’s power grid to the much larger European network through a 600-megawatt undersea cable.
By enabling trade in clean and competitive energy, the project boosts energy security, integrates renewable energy sources, and reduces carbon emissions while making the power sector more financially viable and attracting investments in Tunisia.
"ELMED is the first World Bank project under the new 2023-27 Country Partnership Framework (CPF) that was announced last week," said Alexandre Arrobbio, the World Bank country manager for Tunisia. "Support for the Tunisian Government’s 2035 energy strategy, which aims to rapidly increase renewable energy to 35% of total energy consumption, is one of the Bank's main priorities within the new CPF's implementation."
The World Bank Group’s financing will cover part of the overall investments for building a main converter station and associated sub-stations on the Tunisian side, as well as support for implementation of the interconnector. Technical assistance by the World Bank Group will include helping to establish a renewable energy Center of Excellence to position Tunisia as a training hub for renewable energy projects in the North Africa region.
The ELMED project is also supported by the government of Italy, the European Union, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the European Investment Bank, and the German Development Bank KfW. Additional funding includes $25 million of concessional financing from the Green Climate Fund mobilized through the Sustainable Renewables Risk Mitigation Initiative.