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Inauguration of the Vigy-Uchtelfangen extra high voltage line between France and Germany.

Source: RTE 04/02/2003

Inauguration of the Vigy-Uchtelfangen extra high voltage line between France and Germany : a political symbol of co-operation, a major technical first.

The symbols were present this morning in Vigy during the inauguration, by Mrs Nicole Fontaine, the French Minister of Industry and her German counterpart, Mr Georg Wilhelm Adamowitsch, Secretary of State to the Ministry of Economy and Labour.

For Mrs Fontaine "this technical accomplishment is also a political act: it marks one step further along the path towards European integration, by the gradual constitution of a large internal electricity market.".
Mr G.W. Adamowitsch stated that "when France and Germany pursue a goal together and support each other mutually on difficult issues, it is possible to get a great deal done, even within the European Union," before going on to say, "together we want to be the driving force in Europe."

The Vigy-Uchtelfangen extra high voltage line is a major technical first which serves to increase the interconnection capacity of each member country by 10% of its installed capacity. It will lead, says André Merlin, Chief Executive Officer of RTE (Réseau de Transport d'Electricité), the French Transmission System Operator and Chairman of ETSO, the association of European Transmission System Operators, "to an enhanced sharing of the electrical resources of both countries and to reinforced security of supply." What's more, it is a step ahead of the political timetable, because "without awaiting 2004, Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Slovenia are henceforth interconnected with the main European grid."
This feeling is shared by Dr Wolfgang Kässer, Chairman and Managing Director of RWE Net for whom the Vigy-Uchtelfangen line "is an essential pillar which spans from the Atlantic Ocean to the eastern border of Poland and Slovakia and from the Mediterranean to the North Sea and the Baltic. A pillar which takes its place on the list of necessary interconnections published for the European Union".

Consult the press kit (french and german version only, soon available in english)

Press Contacts :

Agnès Bader (RTE). Tel: 01 41.02 16.78 - 06 08.81 51.88
Juliette Lafont (Office of the Minister of Industry).Tel: 01.53.18.44.85