The Euroasia Interconnector, the longest undersea electricity cable planned between Israel, Cyprus and Greece, has raised strong interest from state energy companies in Europe in advance purchases of electricity, said DEH Quantum, the project innovator.
The project is proceeding rapidly and national governments will be briefed by October 2012. It is set to be finished 36 months later.
DEH has commissioned the most modern ship in the world, able to to submerge two layers of cables simultaneously up to a depth of 3000 meters.
Regulatory authorities in Cyprus view the project positively and will do everything possible to support it, said George Shammas, president of the Cyprus Energy Regulatory Authority.
It will be 540 nautical miles long at a depth of 2000 meters and will deliver 2000 MW.
"Greece will increase its energy efficiency and become a significant player in the european energy chess board. Cyprus will cease being an island and secure a steady flow of energy in and out of the country. And Israel will become a major energy provider to the European continent while strengthening its energy sustainability," said chairman of ΔΕΗ - Quantum Energy, Nasos Ktorides.
Cypriot Ambassador to Israel Dimitris Hadjiargyrou, Israel’s Energy and Water Minister Uzi Landau and Greek Ambassador to Israel Kyriakos Loukakis signed a memorandum of understanding with the chairman of the board of DEH Quantum Energy Athanasios Ktoridis and Israel Electric Corporation (IEC) officials. The agreement is to launch a trilateral cable project that will ultimately link Israel’s electricity supply with that of the European Union, through Cyprus and Crete.
For both Israel and Cyprus, connecting the countries through an underwater cable will foster more than just electrical stability for two energy islands – it will further the sense of “duty and friendship” between two allies. Through this project we shall develop a better understanding of our diverse and bountiful cultures,” Ktoridis said in Jerusalem on Sunday according to Jerusalem post.
DEH Quantum Energy is owned by Greece’s DEH state Power Corporation, Quantum Energy of Cyprus and the Bank of Cyprus.
The project named “Euroasia Interconnector” will have a capacity of 2,000 megawatts and it will require 287 kilometres long cable, buried at a depth of more than 2,000 meters – “one of the biggest in the world,” according to Yakov Hain, senior vice president of engineering projects at IEC.
Ultimately, electricity lines will run from Israel to Cyprus to Crete, and then through the existing cable to mainland Greece, enabling the connection of European and Asian electricity supplies, Hain added.
“The first thing that came to my mind was the crossing of the Red Sea when the Jews left Egypt, to the big world, to the homeland,” he said, showing a picture of Moses parting the waters. “We are also doing something like this – after 3,500 years, we will also be part of the big world.”
Amid financial crisis, rather than compete against each other, Israel, Greece and Cyprus came together to invest in cooperative activity. Greece is in the process of increasing its energy efficiency and is becoming a more significant player in the European energy chessboard, while Cyprus will be able to secure the in-and-out energy flow. Israel, in turn, can become a major energy provider to the European continent and strengthen its own energy sustainability.” Ktoridis said.
“Nothing would be possible if it were not for the fertile imaginations of our three countries. We shall create a more optimistic and joyful world for our generations to come,” he added.
“For Israel it is also important to just be connected to Europe,” Landau said. “We are an energy island and this has its political significance.”
“What we do today is just for the direct improvement of energy and economic relations between Israel, Cyprus and Greece,” Landau added. “This is just the first step... We hope this will be an anchor for stability in this beleaguered part of the world.”
“We are anxiously waiting for the results of this feasibility study,” Hatziargyrou said. “It is an important development and it comes at a time when the relationship between Cyprus and Israel is blossoming. As we experienced this past summer in Cyprus [with] the destruction of the power station we really feel the need for what we call energy security.”
“I am sure that in the near future Israel will be connected not only to Cyprus but to the European grid,” IEC chairman Yiftach Ron Tal, said, adding that this will pave the way for more cooperative projects between IEC and DEH Quantum Energy.
The cost of the project should be roughly 1.5 billion Euros and the goal is for a fully operational system by 2016.
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