The ambitious €6 bln EastMed natural gas pipeline could be built and ready within the next five years, Israeli Energy Yuval Steinitz told the Cyprus News Agency in an interview.
“In Israel, we have a huge surplus of gas. We have enough to justify not one EastMed pipeline, but I think together with Cyprus, we can justify even two or three such pipelines,” Steinitz said.
Regarding Turkey’s illegal drilling activities in Cyprus’ EEZ, he hoped Ankara would change its attitude and will coordinate its efforts with Greece, Cyprus, Egypt, Israel rather than choose conflict.
“Finally, after many years of missed opportunities, Israel, Cyprus, and Greece decided to combine forces together to help each other’s economic development.”
“The EastMed pipeline will enable Israel and Cyprus to export natural gas directly to Greece and Italy, and from Greece and Italy to the Balkans and Central Europe. So, this is an extremely important project.”
Steinitz said Israel has a vast surplus of gas and in 2016 persuades the European Union that it was looking to replace Nord Stream, “Israel and Cyprus can be trusted.”
“This is going to be the longest and deepest subsea gas pipeline in the world, and the EU is doing feasibility studies.”
“I hope that five years from now, we will have this pipeline in place. I believe that the electricity (EuroAsia) interconnector might be in place in two or three years. The EastMed pipeline is a bigger and more expensive project; it will probably take around five years.”
An MoU was signed in Tel Aviv in 2017 by Greece, Italy, Cyprus and Israel together with the EU Energy Commissioner.
“This is an extremely important project for us, even though we are already exporting natural gas to our neighbours.
“But we have a huge surplus of gas, and we have enough to justify not one EastMed pipeline, but I think together with Cyprus we can justify even two or three such pipelines.”
Greek-Italian gas joint venture IGI Poseidon said Tuesday it had signed an agreement with the Israel Natural Gas Lines Company to cooperate on building facilities to connect Israel to the East Med gas pipeline in the eastern Mediterranean.
Greece, Cyprus, and Israel last year signed a deal to build the pipeline, which has been in the planning for several years and seeks to transport gas from offshore Israel and Cyprus to Greece and Italy to help Europe diversify its energy resources.
IGI Poseidon, a joint venture between Greece’s state-owned gas utility DEPA and Italy’s Edison, said the agreement with the Israeli company, which updates a 2019 memorandum of understanding, aims to connect the Eastmed project to the Israeli transmission system and facilitate gas flows from the eastern Mediterranean to Italy and Europe, via Cyprus.
The two parties will cooperate on planning and licensing the necessary facilities in Israel for the EastMed.
State-owned Israel Natural Gas Lines said the connection will allow gas to flow from all the Israeli gas fields.
Greece, Cyprus, and Israel aim to reach a final investment decision on the EastMed project by 2022 and have the €6 bln pipeline completed by 2025