On 15 October 2010 in Tunis, Mr Philippe de Fontaine Vive, Vice-President of the European Investment Bank (EIB) in charge of FEMIP (Facility for Euro-Mediterranean Investment and Partnership), signed with Mr Otman Ben Arfa, Chief Executive Officer of Société Tunisienne de l’Electricité et du Gaz (STEG), in the presence of Mr Mohammed Nouri Jouini, Minister of Development and International Cooperation, a loan agreement for EUR 185 million dedicated to developing power transmission in Tunisia.

This project has a twofold objective:

  • to optimise the power supply by improving the security of supply thanks to 660 km of new high-voltage overhead power lines, shielded substations and transformers;
  • to help complete the main 400 kV power transmission grid between Tunisia and Algeria.

This project’s major strength is that it will meet growing demand for electricity in Tunisia while at the same time securing supply, thereby contributing to the country’s economic development. This project will revolve around three concrete courses of action:

  • maintaining and strengthening the security of power supply, in particular through the use of innovative, reliable technologies;
  • improved connection between the grid and existing sources of power generation;
  • optimising the use of the sources of power generation.

This loan signature continues the EIB’s policy of treating energy support as key to sustainable development in the Mediterranean. Between 2002 and 2009, the Bank provided financing of EUR 3.7 billion to this sector, with flagship projects such as the Ghannouch power plant (Tunisia), the Tillouguit hydroelectric plant and the Tangier wind farm (Morocco), the Gabal el-Zait wind farm (Egypt), the Jordanian gas pipeline (Jordan) and the Deir Ali  I and II project (Syria). This signature also continues the excellent partnership between the EIB and STEG, which has received seven loans from the Bank totalling EUR 570 million since 1995. Further operations are scheduled for the coming months – the construction of a new power plant in Sousse and support for the extension of the gas distribution network. In addition, under the mandate received within the framework of the Union for the Mediterranean, FEMIP will work alongside STEG Energies Renouvelables to promote energy efficiency and the development of Tunisia’s Solar Plan, in particular.

Note to editors:

FEMIP is the key player in the financial partnership between Europe and the Mediterranean, providing over EUR 10 billion of financing between October 2002 and December 2009.

FEMIP brings together the whole range of services provided by the EIB in the Mediterranean partner countries. Operational since October 2002, it is now the key player in the economic and financial partnership between Europe and the Mediterranean, providing over EUR 10bn in support of projects in the nine Mediterranean partner countries.

FEMIP attaches prime importance to energy as being key to sustainable development in the Mediterranean. Between 2002 and 2009, it provided financing of EUR 3.7 billion to the following priority areas of activity:

  • construction and upgrading of energy infrastructure to improve supply for the inhabitants of the Mediterranean region;
  • enhanced energy interconnection in the region and the development of new energy routes;
  • tapping into the region’s huge renewable energy potential;
  • optimising sustainable energy development that is environmentally sound.