Greece’s race for power interconnections

Greece’s race for power interconnections

Through three investment projects, Greece aspires to secure a central role in the interconnection of Europe with Africa and the Middle East for the transfer of green energy that will replace fossil fuels.

Whether it manages to stay in the race will depend on how quickly the final feasibility studies, determining the schedule and the final cost of implementation, will run, as delays favor other alternative plans, Energy Ministry sources say.

It recently became known that Italy has submitted a proposal to Egypt for the joint implementation of an electrical interconnection for the transmission of 2.5 gigawatts, at a total cost of 3 billion euros. Therefore Italy, with this proposal, has driven a wedge into the Greek plans, which were among the first to be designed for the interconnection of Egypt with Europe. The export nature of the projects makes them competitive, so it is crucial which will mature first, for their implementation and geopolitical effects.

The most mature project is the GREGY-Elica Interconnector by the Copelouzos Group, with an estimated cost of €3.5 billion. A 940-kilometer underwater cable will connect Egypt’s El Sallum area to Nea Makri in Attica, to carry 3 GW of energy to be produced from 9.5 GW solar and wind farms to be built by Copelouzos in Egypt.

The second project, by the Eunice Energy Group, envisages a shorter interconnection from the Mersa Matruh area of Egypt to Atherinolakkos in Lasithi, Crete, with a 400 km cable. Eunice’s Greece-Africa Power Interconnector (GAP) is designed to carry 2 GW of power and is also nominated as an EU Project of Common Interest.

A third electrical interconnection is designed to transfer energy that will be produced in Israel and Cyprus. This is the EuroAsia Interconnector, which recently secured financing from the Connecting Europe Facility amounting to €657 million.

The project, with a budget of €2.5 billion, concerns the construction of a submarine cable with a transmission capacity of 2,000 MW (1 GW in the first phase) and a total length of approximately 1,200 km. Greece’s Independent Power Transmission Operator (ADMIE) has announced its intention to participate in the project at a rate of 25%.

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