ECONOMY

Delays in use of 500-megawatt power line

MILAN (Reuters) – A 500-megawatt undersea power line between Italy and Greece will be in place by the end of the year but will be of no use because transmission links on the Italian side will not be ready, Italy’s grid operator said on Tuesday. The line with Greece will be completed by December 2001 but its capacity is unclear because of delays in the local Santa Sofia-Matera line, said Pier Luigi Parcu, the head of Italy’s grid operator GRTN, at a conference. The Greek-Italian interconnector, 75 percent owned by the Enel Group’s TERNA and 25 percent owned by the Greek state-owned electricity company PPC, will be 164 kilometers long. But the electricity will have nowhere to go when it arrives at Galatina, in Puglia, southeastern Italy because local transmission lines to connect with the Italian grid are not yet finished. Although a cable has been under construction since 1993 to link Galatina with Italy’s national grid, progress has been slow. Two local authorities through which the transmission line passes have tried to halt construction work. Sources say trucks have been banned from reaching the site, forcing the cable builders to use mules and to deliver heavy material by helicopter. The line to Campania is 207 km long and 190 km have been completed, a source close to GRTN said. How much?