The official operator of the EuroAsia Interconnector electricity connection, a project approved and supported by the European Commission, announced Wednesday that the technical and economic studies have successfully concluded and work on the 1,520km ‘electricity highway’ that will secure international energy supply will begin in 2017.
Construction work will begin with completion of the first section (Cyprus-Israel) in 2019, the second section (Crete-Attica) in 2020 and the final section of Cyprus-Crete in 2022.
The EuroAsia Interconnector will establish the first electricity corridor between the eastern Mediterranean and the European Union, ending the energy isolation of Cyprus, as well as Crete and Israel, and will vastly contribute to energy supply and security in the region.
The Technical Studies carried out by CESI S.p.A. of Italy, as well as the Reconnaissance Survey executed by GAS S.r.l. of Italy, have concluded that:
– the electricity networks’ interconnection between Israel, Cyprus, Crete and Attica is technically feasible;
– all four surveyed locations have been considered technically and environmentally suitable;
– the submarine cables can be manufactured with a higher voltage level up to 500 kV and with improved technical characteristics which allow for the cables to be laid at depths of up to 3,000 metres; and,
– based on the route survey performed by the Italian flag R/V Odin Finder, a feasible corridor has been designed that allows the 1,000 MW cable to be laid at depths of up to 3,000 metres.
The environmental etudies are now in their final stage to determine the ideal locations for both the overland and undersea sections where the converter stations will be located, as well as all other necessary infrastructure facilities.
The operator of the interconnector, considered a European Union project of Common Interest (PCI), has also conducted a Cost Benefit Analysis (CBA) that has indicted significant social and economic benefits to all the economies and communities involved, reaching an estimated €10bn.