BALEARIC GOVERNMENT DRAWS UP 44,000 MILLION PIPELINE VIA IBIZA PLAN

THE Balearic government is confident that the solution to the Balearics' power problem is the construction of a new natural gas pipeline from Valencia on the mainland to Majorca, via Ibiza. The 44'000 million peseta project was presented by Balearic Energy Minister, Misericordia Ramon, yesterday as the only viable alternative and ruled out further talk of natural gas being shipped to Majorca by sea. The Minister said that the new natural gas pipelline will serve to guarantee enough power to meet demand for the next 15 years without having to build any more power stations in the Balearics which has been one of the government's prime concerns. The Balearic government hopes the project will be approved in December and in the meantime intends to raise funds in Madrid and Brussels to help fund the ambitious project. Ramon said that the link to the mainland is the “safest and cleanest” option to importing liquid gas by sea and building a network of special holding plants in the port of Palma. The Minister, after having consulted the Valencia council and Enagas-Gas Natural, is confident that the link will be completed by 2005 thus bringing an end to the Balearics' isolated energy situation. Once in Palma, the gas will then be pumped to Calvia, Alcudia and the Llevant coastline. Minorca will not run of the natural gas, but Ibiza will as the island has already been promised new gas turbines.

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