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14 July, 2024
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Cyprus set to join Great Sea Interconnector project

Collaborative efforts with Greece, Israel, and investment entities


In a significant move aimed at enhancing regional energy cooperation, Cyprus is considering participation in the ambitious Great Sea Interconnector project, according to statements from government officials.

The proposal, jointly submitted by Giorgos Papanastasiou, the Minister of Energy, Commerce, and Industry, and Makis Keravnos, the Minister of Finance, signals Cyprus' readiness to join forces with Israel and Greece in the massive endeavor.

Papanastasiou emphasized the culmination of years of effort, stating, "The Republic of Cyprus is reaching today, after many years of the project, a point where the Ministers of energy and finance are able to put a proposal to the Cabinet for the participation of the Republic of Cyprus."

The Great Sea Interconnector, formerly known as EuroAsia, seeks to interconnect the national electricity transmission networks of Cyprus, Israel, and Greece via undersea cables. With a capacity of 2,000 MW and bidirectional capabilities, the project aims to bolster energy security and facilitate the exchange of electricity among the participating nations.

Under the proposed arrangement, Cyprus stands to benefit from 66% of the electricity, while Greece would receive the remaining 34%. This allocation is expected to fortify Cyprus' energy independence and enable increased integration of renewable energy sources.

Papanastasiou highlighted the strategic significance of Cyprus' involvement, stating, "Cyprus is now becoming a geostrategic hub because it will be located between the electrical flows of Israel, Greece, Europe."

The project's implementation is already underway, with initial payments made by the Independent Electricity Transmission operator (IPTO) of Greece. Nexans, the company responsible for constructing the cable, is leveraging its expertise to navigate challenging terrain and deep waters.

While the exact financial commitment from Cyprus remains under discussion, options include utilizing funds from the Recovery and Resilience Fund or securing loans of up to €100 million.

Reflecting on the project's evolution since March 2023, Papanastasiou acknowledged the pivotal role of the new implementing body, expressing confidence in its ability to deliver results.

In parallel, discussions are ongoing regarding Cyprus' potential 25% share in the electric cable. Positive signals from recent studies conducted by the International House DNV suggest favorable prospects for Cyprus' strategic plans.

The Ministry of Energy is poised to inform IPTO of Cyprus' participation in the share scheme, initiating necessary financial processes to facilitate project implementation.

Despite initial financing challenges, increased pre-financing from CINEA and ongoing engagements with the European Commission underscore progress toward securing project funding.

Looking ahead, plans for a trilateral meeting among Israel, Cyprus, and Greece in March signify a commitment to collaborative efforts aimed at realizing the Great Sea Interconnector project's full potential.

As discussions unfold and plans materialize, Cyprus remains steadfast in its commitment to advancing regional energy cooperation and fostering sustainable development initiatives.

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