Industrial giant Siemens AG has been chosen as the preferred bidder to build the Cyprus-Greece electricity connection, with regulators discussing issues of interoperability to ensure linking their national grids goes ahead smoothly.
The transmission system operator of Cyprus (TSOC) and Greece (ADMIE), as well as officials from EuroAsia Interconnector and the Crete-Attica link operator, Ariadne, have agreed to a joint technical committee.
It will report to the energy ministries of Cyprus and Greece within the next two weeks on the best way to achieve the link-up of the two cables in Crete, daily Phileleftheros said.
The agreement to set up the joint committee followed a teleconference chaired by Stelios Heimonas, director general of the Cyprus Ministry of Energy, Commerce and Tourism and Alexandra Sdoukou, secretary general of the Hellenic Ministry of Energy and Environment.
The aim of the joint committee is to speed up the technical specifications of the 1208km EuroAsia Interconnector that will start from Hadera, Israel, reach Kofinou in Cyprus and from there to Crete, where it will join the 328km Ariadne Interconnection.
The newspaper said that throughout the three-month lockdown period caused by coronavirus, there was no delay in the project in Cyprus.
On the contrary, work was sped up on the EuroAsia Interconnector with the project promoter entering into direct negotiations with Siemens for the EU project of common interest (PCI 3.10) that will lift the energy isolation of Cyprus.
Final tenders were published in the Official Gazette of the EU on January 15, closed on February 17 and in March, Siemens was announced as the preferred bidder to build the HVDC converter stations at a cost of €623 mln.
The EuroAsia Interconnector, together with the EastMed natural gas pipeline, are the only two projects that will lift the energy isolation of Cyprus and are thus deemed as ‘projects of common interest’.
This makes them eligible for funding from the €8.7 bln Connecting Europe Facility (CEF), the EU’s fund for infrastructure.
According to reports, both the Israel-Cyprus and Cyprus-Crete interconnections will be ready in December 2023, transmitting 1,000MW and with a design capacity of 2,000MW.
Consultants for the contract are Teshmont Consultants LP, Clifford Chance LLP and Elia Grid International, one of the biggest network operators in the world.
Meanwhile, Siemens was also chosen as the preferred bidder for the parallel project, the 1,000MW EuroAfrica Interconnector subsea electricity cable connecting Egypt to Cyprus and then to Europe, which should be completed by December 2023.