Construction of a 1.9 billion-euro ($2.05 billion) section of an electricity cable that will connect the power grids of Greece and Cyprus is slated to begin in the new year, officials said Thursday.
An eventual extension of the renamed Great Sea Interconnector is planned to connect Israel’s power grid as well.
Manousos Manousakis, president and chief executive officer of Greece’s Independent Power Transmission Operator, told reporters that contracts also are expected to be signed with technology company Siemens next year for the construction of converter stations on the Greek island of Crete and in Cyprus that are key to the flow of electricity through the cable.
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The Crete-Cyprus section of the Mediterranean Sea cable should be ready by 2029 at the latest, Cyprus Energy Minister George Papanastasiou said.
Technical talks on moving ahead with the Cyprus-Israel section are on hiatus because of the ongoing Israel-Hamas war, according to Papanastasiou.
“We hope that hostilities end so we can pick up consultations where we left them off,” he said.
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The overall length of the 2000MW cable from Greece to Israel would be 750 miles.
Greece’s Independent Power Transmission Operator recently took over management of the project, which Manousakis called “of strategic significance.”
Papanastasiou said the Cyprus government is expected to make a decision by the end of January on funding the project with a 100 million-euro capital investment ($108 million). The government says the connected power grids would mean cheaper and cleaner energy for Cyprus and help to ensure the island nation’s energy security.
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The European Union has earmarked around 800 million euros ($863 million) for the project. Coming up with the remainder should not be difficult because several investment funds have expressed interest in contributing financing, Papanastasiou said.