Cyprus-Israel-Greece energy collaboration up for part of €5.85 billion in EU funding

By Dean Jordan

Two international projects involving Cyprus have been shortlisted in a European Commission list of 250 key energy infrastructure projects, earmarked from a total pot of €5.85 billion in total funding.

They include plans to connect Cyprus to the European energy grid with underwater cables from Israel to Greece and to build gas storage facilities at the proposed Vassilikos LNG plant.

Two of the ‘Country Projects of Common Interest’ (PCIs) included in the list are large Cyprus-Israel-Greece collaboration proposals. If successful, these projects would benefit from accelerated licensing procedures and improved regulatory conditions as part of the €5.8 billion funding of the Connecting Europe Facility for the 2014-20 trans-European energy infrastructure project period. Cyprus stands to benefit from a diversification of its energy source and to end its energy isolation.

The first PCI including Cyprus is the Euro Asia Interconnector. This would link Hadera in Israel to Korakia and Attica in Crete and mainland Greece via Vassilikos in Cyprus with an underwater electric cable. The cable capacity will be 2000 MW with a total length of around 1518 km.

The other PCI is the construction of various gas infrastructures, pipelines and associated equipment for the transportation of new sources of gas from the offshore fields in the East Mediterranean to Greece via Crete. Part of this project is the construction of LNG storage facilities at Vassilikos that would be connected to these pipelines, known as the Mediterranean Gas Storage.

The pipeline delivery capacity would reach up to 24.5 million cubic metres (MCM) per day, with 2.5 to be delivered to Cyprus and 22 to Greece. The LNG storage facility to be built at the Vassilikos LNG terminal would store LevantineBasin gas in liquefied form onshore, primarily for further transport to terminals further afield in the Mediterranean.

The proposed PCIs are the result of close collaboration between Cyprus, Greeceand Israel.

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