PPC-Quantum proposes cable link with Israel

Quantum Energy Ltd, an electricity company controlled by Athens-based Public Power Corporation SA, plans to build a cable connecting Israel to Europe via Cyprus and Greece as demand increases in the region.

The 2,000-megawatt, subsea EuroAsia Interconnector, undergoing a feasibility study, would stretch 540 nautical miles, Nassos Ktoridis, chairman of PPC-Quantum Energy, said on Monday at a briefing in Nicosia.

The European Union may part-fund the 1.5-billion-euro project, he said. Israel and Cyprus, which both reported offshore natural gas discoveries in the past two years, may earn more money by generating power from the resource and exporting it, rather than shipping the fuel itself.

Electricity demand in Europe is set to increase as Germany, the region?s largest power market, shuts down its nuclear reactors by 2022.

The Levant Basin, a triangular slice of the Mediterranean lying between Cyprus and Israel, may hold 122 trillion cubic feet of gas, according to the US Geological survey.

The US?s Noble Energy Inc discovered about 9 trillion cubic feet at the Tamar field in 2009 and as much as 20 trillion cubic feet at the Leviathan field in 2010, both off Israel.

Noble last month found as much as 8 trillion cubic feet in a deposit off Cyprus.

Israel and Cyprus may export power before starting to ship any gas, Ktoridis said.

Building a gas pipeline from the new discoveries to Greece could cost as much as 6 billion euros, he said.

PPC-Quantum Energy, 51 percent held by Public Power, 9 percent by Bank of Cyprus Plc and the rest by Cyprus?s Quantum Energy Ltd, expects to conclude a study on the cable project in 2012 and could complete the link three years later, Ktoridis stated.


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