By Stelios Orphanides
Cyprus and Egypt have agreed on the route of a 1,707-kilometre sub-sea power cable that will link the grids of the two countries to that of Greece, EuroAfrica Interconnector, the company behind the project said.
The cable, named after the company, “will connect the electricity grids of Egypt, Cyprus, and Greece with Europe has entered the pre-works phase,” the firm said in an emailed statement on Wednesday. “The Egyptian government (is) giving its full support to EuroAfrica Interconnector, transforming Egypt as an electricity hub for Africa and agreed the electricity cable route, the landing point and the site of the HVDC (high-voltage, direct current) converter station”.
The chairman and chief executive of the company, Nasos Ktorides, and Egypt’s Minister of Electricity and Renewable Energy Mohamed Shaker agreed at a recent meeting in addition to the route of the cable also the timeframe of the project’s implementation, EuroAsia Interconnector said.
The Cyprus Business Mail understands that the agreement on the route and the implementation was reached last week.
“The 2,000 MW cable will be connected from Egypt to continental Europe via Cyprus, transforming Egypt to an energy hub for Africa and electricity carrier for the European continent,” the EuroAfrica Interconnector said.
The EuroAfrica Interconnector project is parallel to a similar one dubbed the EuroAsia Interconnector, linking Israel with Greece through Cyprus via an underwater cable in which Ktorides is also involved.
The Greece-Cyprus-Israel project is expected to enter the construction phase this year, instead of 2017, as was the initial plan, Ktorides said in a telephone interview.
“We are in the tenders stage,” he explained, adding that the first stage that will link Crete with mainland Greece is scheduled to be completed by 2020 while the other two stages, linking Cyprus to Crete and Israel, are expected to be completed the following year.
The project enjoys support from the governments of the three countries involved, according to the statement.
President Nicos Anastasiades, President El-Sisi and Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said in their joint declaration four months ago that they are committed in enhancing cooperation in the area of energy and welcomed the EuroAfrica Interconnector project.