Former Finance Minister Constantinos Petrides has returned to the issue of the Eurasia Interconnector, expressing concerns and raising important questions. In a post on the "X" platform, he highlighted the need for transparency and clarity surrounding this significant and costly project.
Petrides pointed out that during a recent meeting of the Parliamentary Energy Committee, where the Eurasia Interconnector was discussed, many of his questions went unanswered. Instead, he felt that the meeting was used to promote a private project worth billions, which raised concerns about the effectiveness of parliamentary oversight.
He went on to list several additional questions that have come to his attention and believes that citizens deserve answers to these inquiries:
1. The European Investment Bank (EIB) has presented the results of a viability study. Shouldn't the government make these results public so that taxpayers know what they're getting into? Have Members of Parliament requested these results?
2. The agreement between Eurasia and the Norwegian developer is private. If the state contributes, can it ensure that this was the best price, and no other company could do it better and cheaper?
3. The Norwegian builder has connections to a fund that wants state guarantees for the project. If it fails, the fund and the developer profit while taxpayers foot the bill.
4. Government guarantees contribute to the state's debt, which rating agencies consider. How will this impact Cyprus' credit rating, especially when the EU financing agency is involved?
5. After ten years of operation, what is the plan for the interconnection's role, revenue sources, and cost coverage?
6. Why aren't there any pre-sales or purchase agreements with suppliers or consumers ten years into the project plan?
7. The institution has not secured any funding from investors. Why hasn't it contributed to this 2.5 billion project?
8. What's the plan for energy extraction and export, and why should we export instead of storing?
9. Exporting energy may be costly compared to other EU states. What's the plan for Cyprus' energy production, and how will it affect buyers?
10. Energy import: how does it affect the desulphurisation plant and renewable energy sources?
11. How will energy import affect domestic investments in renewable energy?
12. Have there been technological advancements that make the interconnection irrelevant?
13. Has the operator demonstrated that this project is financially better than alternatives?
14. The project's geostrategic importance was recognized with state/community funds. Why weren't investors found for the commercial part?
15. Who will prepare the study's terms, and will they be subject to scrutiny and approval?
16. How will the geostrategic value be evaluated in reasonable terms?
17. What assumptions will the study consider?
18. Why didn't the operator use the 12.2 million euros approved by the European Commission for necessary studies?
19. The Minister mentioned increased electricity prices to fund Eurasia. Will consumers pay more for a project with unanswered questions?
20. What are the technical problems mentioned by the Energy Minister?
Petrides emphasized the need for transparency and answers to these questions to protect the public interest.