Over the last five years, Peter Christensen, engineer and managing director of the Danish company NVE, has studied the electricity supply system in the Balearics and its possible connections with the Peninsula by means of a high tension cable. He said yesterday that the cable offers important advantages over and above those provided by a gas pipeline.
Specifically, he indicated that the arrival of gas in the Balearics will not resolve the islands' electricity supply problems. It will only guarantee the arrival of a good quality fuel that will nevertheless need the construction of specialised machinery to convert it into a useable, and distributable, energy form. It would have to be taken into account that the gas pipeline would provide a fuel supply for which there could be no reserves.
He signalled however, that the gas pipeline system could in fact be a complement to the cabled electricity supply, as it would bring energy of a new generation to the Balearics. It would mean that the distribution network in the archipelago would cease to be isolated because it could then tap into the same technical resources as the regions of the Peninsula. The Danish expert has taken part in major engineering projects that have linked power systems in Sweden and Denmark with Germany.
He gave a conference yesterday afternoon in the Balearic College of Industrial Engineers to discuss future power systems that will be required in the Balearics. Christiansen signalled that the new generation of technology, using plastic cables and polymers, has reduced the size of the infrastructure that was previously needed for the network. He also announced his approval of the fact that the electricity conversion stations are situated in the locations proposed by the Balearic government: in Es Torrent, very close to the Ibiza power station, and in Santa Ponsa (Calviá), in the industrial area of Son Bugadelles. He explained that the size of the new electricity stations would be about 16'000 square metres and that in Santa Ponsa, two buildings could be constructed or alternatively that the two incoming cables could be amalgamated (that of Majorca with Ibiza and that of the Peninsuala) under one roof, according to the trajectories that the cables need to follow.
Amongst the problems facing the Balearics for its electricity link-up with the Peninsula is the marine depth, since works on the cable will need to be undertaken some 1'000 metres below the surface of the water. In terms of the construction work, Christensen claimed that the priority is to connect the Peninsula with Majorca as quickly as possible and pointed out that the time that will be needed for this line to become operative will be 24 months. At the same time, he recommended that the works for the connection of the second cable, between Majorca and Ibiza, be carried out within an overlap time of less than a year, which would total a period of execution of 36 months.
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