THE Spanish Electricity Company Red Electrica confirmed yesterday that the underwater electricity cable which will connect the Peninsula and the Balearics will be completed in 2009, two years earlier than had been envisaged. The link will bring cheaper and higher quality electricity to the islands and will lessen the frequency and duration of power cuts according to their President, Luis Atienza, during the presentation of the company as the new operator for the electricity supply in the Balearics. Accompanied by the leader of the Balearic Government, Jaume Matas, Atienza said Red Electrica is working hard to make the cable, which will link Savunto (Valencia) and Calvia (Majorca), operative in 2009. It is an infrastructure of high technological quality which will guarantee the delivery of electricity without overburdening the central generators, he said. The arrival of the electricity cable in Majorca will allow us to combat the fluctuations in the generation of electricity without troubling the consumers, in addition to guaranteeing the continuity and safety of the supply, he said. He explained that the Balearic electricity supply system, needs more generation and has a contingency margin which is too narrow for the demand expected this Summer. In normal conditions the demand can be met but there are difficulties when abnormal situations arise, due to some networks being very overloaded, and because of that it is very important to promote new infrastructures such as the electricity cable, which will cost 292 million euros, to guarantee the supply in future years, said Atienza. The President of the company said that a small and isolated electricity supply system such as that of the Balearics is always weaker because it can't receive external support for all the contingencies which could occur, and it requires a more flexible system to guarantee that, if there is a failure in one installation, the consumer will not suffer. Matas responded saying he was pleased with the great advance that the liberalisation of the electrical sector will bring to the island. This came into effect on April 10 with the entry into force of the Ministerial Orders, which allow the consumer to choose the supplier they think is best for them, as happens now in the Peninsula. Matas said that the arrival of Red Electrica in the Balearics is a very important step in this regard, because together with the two main infrastructures which link the islands with the Peninsula (gas pipe and electricity cable) the supply problems suffered by the region will be resolved.
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