Greek companies are de facto excluded from the project for the power interconnection of Crete and Attica, according to the technical standards required by the tenders for the high-voltage direct current (HDVC) converter stations and cables. This is according to draft requirements put up for public consultation by the subsidiary of state grid operator ADMIE, Ariadne Interconnection, which will implement the linkup project.
Although Greece boasts one of the biggest and most dynamic industries in the world in this field, with a successful presence in Europe and experience spanning five decades, the technical requirements Ariadne has put up for public consultation exclude local companies and will create the conditions for their future exclusion from other underwater interconnections in this country.
The tender’s rules also restrict competition to just two or three possible contractors which have the technology proposed by Ariadne, with an obvious consequence for Greek consumers who will bear the costs.
Worse, the cost of the project is also set to increase by 30 percent over the original budget, to 1.3 billion euros, according to the memorandum submitted in the context of the consultation by a Greek company that is involved in the international underwater cable industry.
ADMIE says that the decisions regarding the tender’s specifications have been made after a protracted dialogue with major cable companies in Greece and abroad, and claims that any changes at this late stage would signify additional delays to the start of the tender and the collapse of the strict timetable that provides for the project’s operation by the fourth quarter of 2022.
Meanwhile EuroAsia, the entity that has undertaken the interconnection of Crete with Cyprus and Israel, on Monday issued an open invitation for cooperation to the Greek authorities for the Crete-Attica linkup, in the context of the road map for the international project as charted by the European Union.