THE town council in Sagunto on the mainland's east coast caused shock waves in the Balearics yesterday by saying that it was bringing the works on the electricity cable link-up between the Islands and the mainland to an immediate halt.

The council said that its concerns lie with the land-based section of the infrastructure because national grid operators, Red Electrica Española, do not apparently have the necessary permits to be using municipal land for the link-up.

The project, to enable the Balearics to become an integral part of the national electricity supply network, is of key importance to energy planning in the Islands and is being financed by Central Government.

Sagunto town council is now saying that Red Electrica Española must pay them a fee if they want the works to continue but claim that their demand is only at the level of municipal taxation and not some vast sum devised spontaneously to penalise the company.

Red Electrica Española is now seeking legal advice because halting the works at this stage will apparently jeopardise the whole project.
The company began the cable link-up at the beginning of the year. The project, which is costing 375 million euros needs to be finished before the summer.

The infrastructure will mean that the Balearics will be able to tap into a power supply the equivalent of an entire generating station, or a quarter of what the Islands are currently capable of producing. The connection will also mean that supply to housholds and industry will be more reliable.

Sagunto council has now “put a spanner in the works,” a Red Electrica Española spokesman said yesterday.