EuroAsia In­ter­con­nec­tor gets go-ahead from reg­u­la­tors, Is­rael to fol­low

Financial Mirror (Cyprus) - - FRONT PAGE -

EuroAsia In­ter­con­nec­tor, the am­bi­tious 1500km long sub­sea ca­ble that will link the elec­tric­ity grids of Is­rael, Cyprus and Greece, has re­ceived the go-ahead from the reg­u­la­tors of both Cyprus and Greece, with con­struc­tion ex­pected to be­gin in the first quar­ter of next year.

The project, that will have a ca­pac­ity of 2000MW and will be com­pleted in 2022, will end the en­ergy iso­la­tion of Cyprus and Crete, both is­land that de­pend heav­ily on fuel im­ports to run their na­tional power sta­tions.

As an in­di­ca­tion, to­tal elec­tric­ity con­sump­tion in Cyprus, in­clud­ing power pro­duced from re­new­able en­ergy sources (RES) does not ex­ceed 1,200MW.

The en­ergy reg­u­la­tory author­i­ties of Cyprus and Greece, have is­sued a joint de­ci­sion for the cross-bor­der cost al­lo­ca­tion of the elec­tric­ity in­ter­con­nec­tion be­tween Cyprus and Greece, as pro­vided by the Euro­pean Reg­u­la­tion 347/2013 for Projects of Com­mon In­ter­est (PCIs).

“This is a his­toric mo­ment for Cyprus as it ends the elec­tric­ity iso­la­tion of the last Euro­pean Union mem­ber state that re­mains en­ergy iso­lated,” the com­pany said in a state­ment.

The EuroAsia In­ter­con­nec­tor, as the of­fi­cial Project Pro­moter from the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion, added that it ex­presses its warm­est ap­pre­ci­a­tion to all the com­pe­tent author­i­ties in Cyprus and Greece, the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion for their con­tin­u­ing sup­port and es­pe­cially the En­ergy Reg­u­la­tory Author­i­ties of Cyprus and Greece.

Na­sos Ktorides, Chair­man and CEO of the EuroAsia In­ter­con­nec­tor, was quoted by the As­so­ci­ated Press on Mon­day as say­ing that Is­raeli reg­u­la­tors are ex­pected to give their ap­proval next month.

Work on the 1,519-kilo­me­ter un­der­sea ca­ble is ex­pected to last un­til 2022 and its first phase will have an es­ti­mated cost of around 3.5 bln eu­ros, the AP re­ported.

The project emerged amid i mproved re­la­tions be­tween the three coun­tries, cou­pled with the dis­cov­ery of gas de­posits in the east Mediter­ranean that could be used to gen­er­ate elec­tric­ity, the news agency con­cluded.

The lead­ers of Cyprus, Greece and Is­rael re-af­firmed dur­ing the Tri­par­tite Meet­ing in Jan­uary, 2016 in Ni­cosia and again in De­cem­ber, 2016 in Jerusalem their full sup­port to­wards the timely im­ple­men­ta­tion of the EuroAsia In­ter­con­nec­tor. In June this year, meet­ing in Thes­sa­loniki, Prime Min­is­ters Alexis Tsipras and Ben­jamin Ne­tanyahu and Pres­i­dent Ni­cos Anas­tasi­ades is­sued a tri­lat­eral dec­la­ra­tion of co-op­er­a­tion and agreed “in the field of the Fiber Op­tic Un­der­sea Ca­ble, to sup­port the de­ploy­ment of new ca­ble in­ter­con­nec­tions among the three coun­tries. Such in­fra­struc­ture is a crit­i­cal link be­tween Europe, Mid­dle East and Asia and will en­hance the ca­pac­ity of in­ter­net con­nec­tions.”

The EuroAsia In­ter­con­nec­tor as a lead­ing Project of Com­mon In­ter­est (PCI) of the Euro­pean Union, falls within the EU en­ergy pol­icy and con­trib­utes to the en­ergy tar­gets of end­ing the en­ergy iso­la­tion of Cyprus and Crete. Fur­ther­more, it en­sures the se­cu­rity of en­ergy of sup­ply of the three coun­tries and of the EU sys­tem al­to­gether, through the in­te­gra­tion of the iso­lated small sys­tems of Cyprus and Crete with the Is­raeli and Euro­pean Net­work and the un­in­ter­rupted – mul­ti­di­rec­tional flow of en­ergy.

It also pro­motes the sub­stan­tial de­vel­op­ment of RES and con­trib­utes to the re­duc­tion of CO2 emis­sions, and con­trib­utes to the EU tar­get for 10% of elec­tric­ity in­ter­con­nec­tion be­tween mem­ber states by 2020. The whole project is es­ti­mated to have so­cio-eco­nomic ben­e­fits of 10 bln eu­ros.

The first, 329km in­ter­con­nec­tion will be be­tween Hadera (Is­rael) and Kofi­nou (Cyprus), de­liv­ery in 2019; the sec­ond, 310km in­ter­con­nec­tion will be an in­ter­nal line be­tween Ko­rakia, Crete and At­tica re­gion (Greece), de­liv­ery 2020; the third, 879km in­ter­con­nec­tion will be be­tween Kofi­nou (Cyprus) and Ko­rakia, Crete (Greece), de­liv­ery 2022.

Stage I of the project is ex­pected to cost EUR 1.5 bln, with the cost ris­ing to 3 bln at Stage II. It is pri­vately funded and re­ceived EU/EC fund­ing for pre-works stud­ies, as it will con­trib­ute to the com­ple­tion of the Euro­pean In­ter­nal Mar­ket. Two Ital­ian com­pa­nies (GAS S.r.l and CESI S.p.A.) were con­tracted for three stud­ies for the tech­ni­cal de­sign, the re­con­nais­sance study for the op­ti­mum route and an en­vi­ron­men­tal im­pact study.

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