"This decision on the part of the environmental tribunal represents a major step for the safeguarding of the security of supply especially in Salzburg and Upper Austria," Heinz Kaupa and Thomas Karall, Chairmen of the Board of VERBUND-Austrian Power Grid AG (APG), comment.
The independent environmental tribunal, the authority responsible for appeals at second level, has now, by edict of 9 April 2008, made known the notice of approval, thus confirming the environmental compatibility of the 380 kV Salzburg line from St. Peter to Elixhausen. "Upon examination of all arguments presented, the environmental tribunal, just as in the case of the Styria line, has come to the conclusion that the overhead transmission line for the 380 kV ring in Austria, in its totality, represents the best possible solution," Kaupa says. In spring of 2007, the officials of the provincial governments of Salzburg and Upper Austria had already given green light to the construction of the Salzburg line at the first level of EIA proceedings. "Throughout the entire planning phase, we have kept up an intensive dialogue with local residents and municipalities. This is reflected in the fact that 95 % of land owners have already had the easement notarized," adds Kaupa. "We will, of course, expand this dialogue and, at the same time, are seeking dialogue with the provincial government of Salzburg."
"We will now undertake to examine all 140 pages of the notice in detail and, subsequently, prepare to take all measures necessary for the implementation of the project," Kaupa adds.
With a total investment volume of more than 100 million Euro, the Salzburg line from St. Peter am Hart to Elixhausen is not just one of Austria's most important infrastructural projects, it also represents a major step for the future safeguarding of the security of supply, closing another gap in Austria's extra-high voltage grid.
It is APGs responsibility to see that its duties, conferred by law, are fulfilled in the best and, for the electricity consumer, least expensive possible manner. "We are fully aware of the complexity and the implication of the subject and will do our utmost to act with the greatest of responsibility whilst maintaining a spirit of agreement with the population. In this sense, we would appeal to all involved to remain objective in the discussion and are prepared to confront the fears of the citizens," Karall concludes.