Greece and Saudi Arabia agreed on Tuesday on the main terms to set up a joint venture to lay a fiber-optic data cable that will link Europe with Asia.
The East to Med data Corridor (EMC project), an undersea and land data cable, will be developed by MENA HUB, owned by Saudi Arabia’s STC and Greek telecoms and satellite applications company TTSA.
Greece’s power utility Public Power Corporation and Cyprus’ telecoms operator CYTA will also hold a stake in the project, pending final corporate approvals, a Greek diplomat said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
The final closing of the deal is expected by July, for the project to launch in autumn and be completed by the end of 2025, the diplomat said.
Another person close to the deal said the cable, which will connect users from Italy to Singapore, will cost about 800 million euros.
Greece’s conservative government has made digital transformation a priority since taking office in 2019, a year after Greece exited the biggest financial bailout in history.
A big part of about 30 billion euros in grants and cheap loans allocated to Greece from European Union’s post-pandemic Recovery Fund will be spent on 5G and fiber-optic infrastructure. [Reuters]