Research Center
Cyprus Economy

ENERGY: Italy is committed to EastMed pipeline project

21 September, 2018

Italy is committed to seeing the EastMed pipeline project going ahead as a new route of energy supply to Europe, Italian ambassador Andrea Cavallari told the Cyprus News Agency (CNA).

The leaders of Cyprus, Greece, Israel and Italy may sign an inter-governmental agreement on the EastMed project in Beersheba during a summit scheduled for December 20.

Cavallari said that discussions on the EastMed pipeline are continuing at a technical level, including experts from Italy, adding that his country is looking forward to seeing the results of this working group.

Last year, the four countries signed in Cyprus a Memorandum of Understanding on the East Med pipeline project, with one of the goals set out by Memorandum was the preparation for an inter-governmental agreement.

“Italy is committed to this project according to the terms of the Memorandum of Understanding,” said Cavallari.

“This is why Italy is interested in the project and has been part of the group of countries supporting the feasibility studies and further studies,” he added.

Furthermore, Cavallari noted that the realization of the project will be a matter for the private companies which will undertake its implementation.

Italy “is following with great attention what is happening in the region in the energy sector…Italian companies are present in the area and very much involved also in activities in Cyprus,” the diplomat said.

The proposed EastMed Pipeline Project would start about 170 kilometres off Cyprus’ southern coast and stretch for 2,200 kilometres to reach Otranto, Italy, via Crete and the Greek mainland.

The pipeline will have the capacity to carry up to 20 billion cubic metres of gas yearly.

Europe’s gas import needs are projected to increase by 100 billion cubic meters (3.5 billion cubic feet) annually by 2030.

Last December, Israel Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz said a study on the EastMed Pipeline Project showed that the link is feasible, even though it presents technical challenges due to the depths involved.

He told The Associated Press the estimated €6.2 billion pipeline could take 6-7 years to build and that the countries involved “are serious about it”.