THE Balearic Institute of Industrial Engineers yesterday welcomed the proposal made by the Minister of Economy, Rodrigo Rato, to connect the Baleares with the Peninsula by means of an electricity cable and a natural gas pipeline, but they believed that the exact means of going about it has not yet been properly addressed. In a communiqué, the College pointed out that this “double energy” connection has been in the offing since 2002. The Industrial Engineers agree that its final approval by regional and central government “is a very positive step in the right direction for guaranteeing energy supplies in the Balearics on a medium term basis”. Similarly, this Collegiate referred to the natural gas pipeline project and the electricity cable connection planned between Majorca and Ibiza to complete the Balearic grid, as a “significant advance”. Nevertheless, they considered that there were “weak points” in the offer announced by Rato to the President of the Balearic Islands, Jaume Matas. One of the points in question was the concept of the natural gas pipeline starting from the Alicante coastal town of Denia because a study had already established the viability of putting the infrastructure in place in the area of the Valencian municipalities of Ontinyent and Oliva. “The linking up by undersea cable between Majorca and Tarragona seemed a good solution as a secondary cable between the mainland and the Balearics, but not as a primary connection” suggested the College of Industrial Engineers, who believe the connection from Benejama (Alicante) to Ibiza is preferable. This link is quoted as the “indisputable key point” in the planning document approved by the Minister of Economy in 2002. The organisation further ventured that together with the link up with Tarragona, it would be convenient to “close the loop” with the Alicante connection.

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