Stage prior to pre-works phase
Also present were Andreas Kettis, Head of the European Parliament Office in Cyprus and the ambassadors and diplomats from Greece, Israel and Italy.
The ambassador of Greece to Cyprus, Elias Fotopoulos, conveyed the message of the Minister of Energy Panos Skourletis underlining the significance of the EuroAsia Interconnector for the country and he emphatically stated that the Greek government wholeheartedly supports the project.
The contract for the “Technical/Technological Study for the Design of the EuroAsia Interconnector” was signed by George Killas and Gianluca Marini, Solutions & Services Division Director (CESI S.p.A).
The contract for the “Reconnaissance Survey to Determine the Preferred Route for the EuroAsia Interconnector” was signed by Athanasios Stivaros, Technical Director of the EuroAsia Interconnector and Pietro Basciano, CEO (GAS S.r.l).
The contract for the “Environmental Studies / Environmental Impact Assessment Study (EIA) for the Construction of the EuroAsia Interconnector” was signed by Nasos Ktorides and Gianluca Marini, Division Director (CESI S.p.A).
After the signing ceremony, Gianluca Marini said that “we are excited to be involved with this ‘electricity highway’ that will help the united European energy market cope with an increasingly variable and decentralised electricity supply and flexible electricity demand. The technical survey for the design of the EuroAsia Interconnector, as well as the environmental impact study awarded to CESI S.p.A will also prove the capability of European-made innovation and selfreliance in a highly competitive global market.”
Pietro Basciano of GAS S.r.l added that “the reconnaissance study to determine the preferred route of the EuroAsia Interconnector involves one of the most challenging sub-sea terrains of the Mediterranean. And so, this in itself is a challenge to us and we thank the project promoters for choosing us for this vital aspect of the Interconnector.”
The cable is expected to be laid at a depth of up to 2612 metres below the sea and the partners are considering expanding the project after its completion in order to double its capacity.
Nasos Ktorides, the driving force behind the project, said that “the fact that the EuroAsia Interconnector fulfils the general criteria of the Projects of Common Interest (PCI) plan and has been proposed by the European Commission to be labelled as an electricity highway, proves the significance of the project and the beneficial impact it will have on future generations of European consumers seeking cheaper, efficient and low-carbon emission energy.” It is estimated that the expected social economic benefit from the EuroAsia Interconnector will be 10 bln euros.
George Killas added that the project has been assessed by ENTSO-E based on the predefined methodology for Cost Benefit Analysis (CBA) with positive results, and has thus been included in the Ten-Year Network Development Plan (TYNDP) 2014-2020. The positive assessment of the project is an i mportant condition for further support for its implementation by the EU, since significant benefits arise from the implementation.
Work on the initial 329-kilometre cable link between Israel and Cyprus is expected to begin in 2017 and be completed in 2019. The second phase will connect the island of Crete to Attica in mainland Greece in 2020 and the third and final phase will connect the cable from Cyprus to Crete with a view of full implementation of the “electricity highway” by 2022.
The expected cost of step one and step two of the project is 1.5 bln euros and will be undertaken in full by EuroAsia Interconnector.