The European Commission has announced its full backing for the EuroAsia Interconnector ‘electricity highway’, the biggest electricity infrastructure project in Europe, by providing financial support for the final pre-works study.
EuroAsia Interconnector, the project promoter of the Israel-Cyprus-Crete-Attica electricity interconnector, welcomed the decision taken by the EU member states to agree on February 17, to the Commission’s proposal to invest €444 mln in 18 priority European energy infrastructure projects .
The interconnector is one of the seven selected electricity projects that have received funding and the only North-South electricity interconnection in the Central Eastern and South Eastern Europe Priority Corridor (NSI East Electricity). The project will contribute to achieving the Energy Union’s goals of connecting European energy networks, increasing security of energy supply, and contributing to the sustainable development by integrating renewable energy sources across the EU.
This is a European Union ‘project of common interest’ (PCI) and has been approved to receive €14.5 mln for the Final Detailed Studies Prior to Project Implementation.
Under the Connecting Europe Facility, a total of €5.35 bln has been allocated to trans-European energy infrastructure for the period 2014-2020, according to the European Commission. In order to be eligible for a grant, a proposal has to be a PCI.
The final transfer capacity of the Interconnector will be 2,000MW with an interconnection between Hadera (Israel) and Kofinou (Cyprus), an interconnection between Kofinou (Cyprus) and Korakia, Crete (Greece), and an internal line between Korakia, Crete and Attica region (Greece).
Pre-construction works will commence in 2017 and the completion of the first 1,000MW interconnection between Israel – Cyprus – Greece will take place in 2022, ending the energy isolation of both Cyprus and Crete.
Enjoying the unwavering support of the governments of Cyprus, Greece and Israel, the project promoter is continuing unabated with the timely implementation of the EuroAsia Interconnector in accordance to the agreed schedules for all three steps of the 1,520 km ‘electricity highway’.
The interconnector also allows the EU to be securely be supplied with electricity produced by the gas reserves in Cyprus and Israel, as well as from the available renewable energy sources through an uninterrupted – multidirectional flow of energy, contributing at the same time to the completion of the European internal market and achieving the EU target for 10% of electricity interconnection between member states.
The project also contributes to the reduction of CO2 emissions and is expected to contribute with significant economic and geopolitical benefits to the involved countries and provide significant socio-economic benefits in the range of €10 billion.