The first phase of a European Union-backed plan to lay the world’s longest subsea electricity cable could be completed by 2017, project managers said on Thursday.
Some 820 nautical miles of cable making up the EuroAsia Interconnector will link energy-hungry Europe with power generators tapping into vast quantities of natural gas found in the eastern Mediterranean in recent years.
The European Commission on Monday included the 3.5-billion-euro plan in a list of 250 power and gas projects designed to curb reliance on Russian gas imports and create a single energy market.
The cable will carry electricity generated in Israel and sent via Cyprus, Crete and Greece to European grids.
“The demand for electricity in Europe is phenomenal… we think that in the future even a second cable might be required,” said Nasos Ktorides, chairman of PPC-Quantum Energy, a joint venture of Cyprus’s Quantum Energy and Greece’s Public Power Corporation.