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Energy, finance ministers tasked with making final decision on Interconnector

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The Great Sea Interconnector

The cabinet has authorised the finance minister and the energy minister to make a final investment decision on the Great Sea Interconnector.

Following a cabinet meeting on Wednesday, Energy Minister George Papanastasiou said the cabinet authorised the two ministers to take a final investment decision following the completion of certain screening actions outlined in the proposal.

“Today, the intention of the Republic of Cyprus to participate in the share capital of Great Sea Interconnector formerly Euroasia Interconnector for the amount of up to €100 million has been confirmed,” Papanastasiou said.

He explained the viability reports of the project that will need updating to make the final investment decision.

“Studies will be done jointly with other stakeholders, such as Admie (Independent Electricity Transmission Operator of Greece), which is the implementing agency as well.”

Papanastasiou said that a due diligence study will also be done on the legal and financial aspect of the issue. Once these studies are completed and given the green light, he added, then he and the finance minister will bring the recommendation for a final investment decision to the cabinet.

The cabinet debate began last Friday and approval of the Council of Ministers has been requested for participation of the Republic in the Cyprus-Crete electrical interconnection project.

A decision had been initially expected on Friday after Energy Minister George Papanastasiou and Finance Minister Makis Keravnos presented their proposal on the matter to cabinet, but a decision was not reached.

The Great Sea Interconnector, formerly known as the EuroAsia Interconnector, is a plan to connect the electricity networks of Greece, Cyprus, and Israel, via a deep subsea cable, and has a planned capacity of 2,000 megawatts.

After the cabinet meeting, Papanastasiou confirmed that the interconnector will cost a total of €657 million and will be subsidised by the European Union.

The implementing body of the project is the Independent Electricity Transmission Operator (IEO) of Greece.

The distance between Cyprus and Israel is 380km and about 900km from Cyprus to Crete, while the water depths between Cyprus and Crete are between 3-3.5km and between Israel and Cyprus 2-2.5km.

The company that manufactures the cable, Nexans, has French interests and the cable is manufactured in Norway.

 

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