Cyprus is moving closer to its goal to end energy isolation, with significant developments concerning electricity interconnections with its neighbouring countries.
According to Cyprus News Agency (CNA) sources, developments on the electricity interconnection of Egypt, Cyprus and Greece (EuroAfrica Interconnector) and Israel, Cyprus and Greece (EuroAsia Interconnector) are progressing rapidly.
As sources told CNA, the Minister of Energy, Trade and Industry Natasa Pilides is waiting for the response of her Egyptian counterpart, the Minister of Electricity and Renewable Energy of Egypt, Mohamed Saker El Markabi, to her invitation to visit Cyprus between October 8 and 14 to sign the agreement for the Cyprus and Egypt interconnection.
At the same time, a tripartite meeting at the level of heads of state and government between Cyprus, Greece, Egypt is planned in Greece, where a relevant tripartite memorandum concerning the electricity interconnection of Egypt, Cyprus and Greece with a cable of a total length of 1,396 km is expected to be signed.
Regarding the EuroAsia Interconnector, which concerns the electricity interconnection of Israel, Cyprus and Greece (via Crete), with a high voltage direct current (HVDC) offshore cable of a total length of 1,208 km and a capacity of 2000 MW, the European Commission announced on 7 September a tender that will allow companies to get funding from the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF).
Following this development, the project implementer, EuroAsia Interconnector Ltd, will be able to apply and receive part of the required amount for the construction costs of the project. According to the same sources, the application for funding will concern, at this stage, the part of the project that connects Cyprus with Crete. The total amount of funding can be up to 50 per cent of the total cost.
In the meantime, according to other sources, the Minister of Transport has given the implementing body the final approval and permission for laying the cable, with the starting date of the project being January 2022.
At the end of July 2021, the Council of the European Union approved a grant of €100 million for the EuroAsia Interconnector as part of the Recovery and Resilience Plan (RES), to lift the energy isolation of Cyprus, the last non-interconnected EU member state and to help the development of a sustainable and green economy.