Map of EuroAsia Interconnector
Electric power transmission
|Passes through||Kofinou, Cyprus|
|Owner||EuroAsia Interconnector Ltd.|
|Key people||Chairman: Ioannis Kasoulidis|
|Project director||George Killas|
|Operator||EuroAsia Interconnector Ltd.|
|Construction cost||€3.5 billion (Stage 1)|
|Type||Submarine power cable|
|Type of current||HVDC|
|Total length||1,520 km (940 mi)|
|Power rating||2,000 MW|
|DC voltage||±500 kV|
|No. of poles||2|
The EuroAsia Interconnector is an interconnector between Greek, Cypriot, and Israeli power grids via the world's longest submarine power cable. It is a leading Project of Common Interest of the European Union and also priority Electricity Highway Interconnector Project. The Interconnector is an energy highway bridging Asia and Europe. Regulatory approval of electricity interconnection and cost allocation between Cyprus and Greece on October 10, 2017. and March 21, 2018 is historic decision for Cyprus, ending electricity isolation of the last EU member state.
According to ENTSO-E analysis, Interconnector will contribute to social and economic welfare between €580m and €1.12 billion in each year. Also ENTSO-E calculated that expected reduction of CO2 is between 1.3 million tone to 6.8 million tone each year or between 21% and 110% of total Cyprus emission.
On May 12, 2017 Beijing meeting the Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras the State Grid Corporation of China Chairman Shu Yinbiao, and CEO Euroasia Interconnector Nasos Ktorides supported the timely implementation of EuroAsia Interconnector. On December 12, 2017 Elia, transmission system operator, announced conclusion of strategic alliance agreement for the development and implementation of the 2,000 MW interconnector.
Former Cyprus Foreign Minister (1997—2003, 2013—1 March 2018) and head of the European Parliament Foreign Affairs Working group, Ioannis Kasoulides, has joined the EuroAsia Interconnector on March 30, 2018 as Chairman of the Strategic Council.
- 1 Energy in Cyprus, Greece and Israel
- 2 Eastern Mediterranean Hydrocarbon Findings
- 3 Infrastructure
- 4 Project of EU Common Interest
- 5 History and development
- 6 Benefits of EuroAsia Interconnector
- 7 Project development company
- 8 See also
- 9 References
- 10 External links
Energy in Cyprus, Greece and Israel
Energy in Cyprus
Cyprus as island totally isolated from EU energy links and electricity networks and remains the most energy dependent country in European Union. Cyprus is fully isolated from EU energy interconnections. About 95% of the primary energy use was imported in 2015. Oil and petroleum products represent around 92% of the gross energy consumption. Cyprus is without oil refinery. As a result of high import cost of petroleum products Cyprus price of electricity is one of the highest in European Union. Renewable energy share has reached 8% and according to national target should reach 13% by 2020. Recently Cyprus announced discovery of Aphrodite gas field with significant amounts of natural gas resources in exclusive economic zone. Due to regional turmoils in East Mediterranean region and fact that 1/3 of Cyprus is unlawfully occupied, for energy security it is needed reliable and robust energy infrastructure. EuroAsia Interconnector will connect Cyprus to European network as last EU member fully isolated from energy interconnections.
Energy in Israel
Israel relationship with neighbors linked politics and diplomacy with energy supply and security. Until recently Israel domestic energy production was small and it was mainly dependent on import of oil and coal, so that in 2012 only 13% of energy balance of Israel was covered by own production. In 2010, the Leviathan gas field was discovered off the coast of Israel. That gas field represents strategical change enabling Israel not only to be energy sufficient, but also to become an energy exporter, as the amount of discovered gas exceeds Israeli demands for at least next 50 years. Unlike oil, gas is not sold on spot markets and it is priced unique to each deal. One reliable way for Israel to export natural gas could be in form of electricity using Interconnector.
Energy in Greece
Greece location at crossroads of the east and west and geographical connection to rest of Europe enables interconnection and energy flow from Eastern Mediterranean to Europe. Greece is highly energy dependent country. Renewable energy share has reached 22%. Crete is energy isolated island and it is largest isolated power system in Greece. Like all isolated island systems cost of electricity production is very high due to transportation costs of imported fuel and high operational costs of mainly outdated power generating units. Connected system have much lower costs of electricity by using electricity from distant power stations where electricity production costs are much lower. Crete is energetically isolated from mainland Greece and Hellenic Republic covers for Crete electricity costs difference of around €300 million per year.
Eastern Mediterranean Hydrocarbon Findings
Levantine Sea is bounded by Greece, Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Egypt and Cyprus in middle. Cyprus is the largest island in the Levantine sea and it is located in middle. Many countries in the region are in dispute with neighbors. The seafloor of the Eastern Mediterranean Basin is dotted with mud volcanoes which spew gas and occasionally oil into the benthic zone. Geologically it consists of sediment columns up to 12 km thick capped by evaporites. Geological and oceanographers facts lead to speculation that Levantine sea contains big gas and oil deposits trapped in evaporites. Recently Eni discovered Zohr gas field, largest known gas field in Mediterranean. The Zohr gas field holds around 850 billion cubic metres (30 trillion cubic feet) of gas. It is estimated that in the Levant Basin there are around 3.5 trillion cubic metres (120 trillion cubic feet) of undiscovered gas resources. Also they estimated that there could be up to 1.7 billion barrels of recoverable oil.
Israeli and Cyprus gas fields
Aphrodite gas field is Cyprus offshore gas field at the exploratory drilling block 12 in the Cyprus maritime Exclusive Economic Zone. It is estimated that block 12 holds 110 to 140 billion cubic metres (3.9×1012 to 4.9×1012 cu ft) of natural gas. Exploration is continuing in other blocks in Cyprus Exclusive Economic Zone. Calypso gas field in block 6 was found in 2018. and it is estimated that holds 170 to 230 billion cubic metres (6.0×1012 to 8.1×1012 cu ft) of gas.
First significant Israeli gas discovery was 28 billion cubic metres (990×109 cu ft) gas in Mari-B field in 2000. Mari-B field produced gas until 2013 covering 40% of Israeli natural gas demand. Offshore Tamar gas field of 280 billion cubic metres (9.9×1012 cu ft) was discovered in 2009. Commercial production from Tamar field started in 2013. It covers nearly all industrial needs and gas from Tamar field generates over half of country electricity. In 2010, the Leviathan gas field was discovered off the coast of Israel. It is estimated the field contains around 470 billion cubic metres (17×1012 cu ft) of natural gas.
The EuroAsia Interconnector will link Israel with Cypriot and Greek power grids with high-voltage direct current submarine power cable of length around 1,520-kilometre (940 mi) (820 nautical miles). It will have a capacity to transmit 2,000 megawatts of electricity in either direction. The 330-kilometre (210 mi) cable will link Israel with Cyprus. Cyprus will be connected with the Greek island of Crete with 880-kilometre (550 mi) long cable. Crete will be connected with Attica in Greece with 310-kilometre (190 mi) long cable providing a connection to the pan-European electricity grid. The laying depth of cable will be up to 3,000 metres (9,800 ft) under sea level in some area between Crete and Cyprus. It will be conducted in two stages.
In first stage it will have 1000 MW capacity. It is expected to cost €3.5 billion in first stage. It is expected that first interconnection between Fodele on Crete and Attica region in Greece will be finished in 2020. Second interconnection between Hadera in Israel and Kofinou on Cyprus will be finished in 2021. Longest interconnection between Kofinou on Cyprus and Fodele on Crete will be delivered in 2021.
Configuration for Stage 1
- 4 converter stations in bipolar arrangements with multiterminal operation (in Attica, Crete, Cyprus and Israel).
- subsea and land High-voltage direct current (HVDC) cables that will interconnect converter stations in Attica, Crete, Cyprus and Israel. Cables will run in pairs and each cable will be with power rating of 500 MW and voltage of 500kV.
- sea electrodes of 1000A and medium voltage direct current cables connecting them to converter stations
- alternating current (AC) switchgear connecting converter stations to grid at four different locations
Pair of cables will connect all converter stations. Converter station converts direct current (DC) to alternating current (AC) or the reverse. It could receive power through cable and send it to grid. Converter stations are bipolar and could run bidirectionally enabling import or export of electricity depending on demand. Cables will run along bottom of sea and on land will run underground. Sea electrodes are used in case of cable or converter stations fault. Sea electrodes are placed at seabed several kilometers from shore and they are connected to converter stations. Converter stations will be of Voltage Source Converter (VSC) type. Each converter station is designed to be rated 1000 MW and will be made of two converter bridges of 500 MW. Submarine power cables will be of extruded type.
Configuration for Stage 2
In stage two additional 1.000 MW converter stations will be built in Attica and Israel and will be added additional 1000 MW bipole cable on route Israel-Cyprus-Crete-Greece. Stage 2 will increase transfer capacity to 2.000 MW.
Project of EU Common Interest
European Commission adopted 14. October 2013. under Regulation (EU) No. 1391/2013 first list of key EU Projects of Common Interest. EuroAsia Interconnector is accepted as cluster of three EU Projects of Common Interest important as trans-European energy infrastructure project. Main criteria for Projects of Common Interest is market integration, security of energy supply, enhancing competition and reduction of CO2. On 18 November 2015 the European Commission adopted second revised list of 195 EU Projects of Common Interest. EuroAsia Interconnector is included also on revised list. On 23 November 2017, Euroasia Interconnecter was included on third final list of EU Projects of Common Interest.
On 29 October 2014 it was announced EU funding for 3 prestudies of Interconnector project. These studies got half of cost (€1,325,000) from Connecting Europe Facility. On 17 February 2017, The European Commission approved €14.5 million as financial support for final detailed studies prior to Project Implementation.   EU covers half of cost of final detailed pre-works studies. The Interconnector was selected for funding as one of seven electricity projects. According to EU Commission, project contributes Energy Union's goals by increasing security of energy supply, connecting European energy networks, and also contributes integration of renewable energy sources across the EU.
EU Priority Electricity Highway
EuroAsia Interconnector has been labelled as priority electricity corridor, and as priority Electricity Highway Project. On 23. November 2017. Euroasia Interconnecter on the third final list of EU Projects of Common Interest has been labelled by the ENTSO-E as priority Electricity Highway Interconnector.
Big reduction of CO2 emission
European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity (ENTSO-E) assessed positively Interconnector project based on cost-benefit analysis methodology. It is therefore included in the ten-year network development plan 2014 (TYNDP) and then also TYNDP 2016. According to the cost-benefit analysis of European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity (ENTSO-E), Interconnector will contribute to social and economic welfare between €580m and €1.12 billion in each year. The cost-benefit analysis is done using four different visions. Also reduction of CO2 emission is expected to be between 1.3 million tone to 6.8 million tone each year. For comparison Cyprus had CO2 emission of 6.16 million tone during 2015. Therefore, reduction of CO2 emission will be between 21% and 110% of total Cyprus CO2 emission. Based on new assessments best estimate of reduction of CO2 emission is expected to be 1.16 million tone for Stage 1.
Development of renewable energy sources on isolated systems like Cyprus and Crete could compromise islands electrical systems due to chaotic production fluctuations. Integration of renewable energy sources without interconnection is therefore limited. Electricity interconnection will enable and unlock integration of high percentage of renewable sources in such isolated systems.
History and development
EuroAsia Interconnector project was announced by Nasos Ktorides in Nicosia on 23. January 2012, stressing role of Cyprus as energy bridge between Europe and Asia. A cooperation agreement for conducting the feasibility study was signed in Jerusalem on 4 March 2012 between the project operator EuroAsia Interconnector Ltd.(previously DEI Quantum Energy), and the Israel Electric Corporation in presence of Israeli minister for Energy and Water Resources Uzi Landau and Yiftah Ron-Tal, Director of the Israel Electric Corporation. On March 23, 2012 in Nicosia the Electricity Authority of Cyprus signed a cooperation agreement with project operator. On August 8, 2013 ministers of energy of Cyprus, Israel and Greece met in Cyprus. They signed the tripartite energy memorandum and reconfirmed their support for Interconnector.
On 14 October 2013, Interconnector was accepted as cluster of three EU Projects of Common Interest. Later it was also accepted on the second and third lists of key EU Projects of Common Interest.
In a meeting between the Israeli and Cypriot energy ministers in June 2015, the Israeli minister suggested doubling the planned capacity of the cable. With Israel and Cyprus both having located natural gas deposits within their territories, a higher capacity cable would allow them to construct gas-driven power plants and export significant amounts of electricity to Europe.
On January 11, 2016 in Nicosia Vice-President of the European Commission Maroš Šefčovič met with President of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades and Minister of Energy Giorgos Lakkotrypis. They discussed huge potential of eastern Mediterranean for energy supply of Europe and pointed out EuroAsia Interconnector as an bridge and highway for energy supply.
Three pre-works phase studies were awarded on December 18, 2015 to the Italian companies CESI and G.A.S. S.r.l..The three studies are for the technical design, the reconnaissance study for the optimum route and an environmental impact study. In January 2016, the Italian research ship Odin Finder started a reconnaissance study for the optimum route of the underwater cable. It took about 100 days to complete survey. All three preworks studies are finished during 2016 and led to next phase of final pre-construction studies.
On 28 January 2016, the first Cyprus-Israel-Greece tripartite meeting took place in Nicosia. On that meeting President of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades, the Prime Minister of Greece Alexis Tsipras and the Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu affirmed their full support for the EuroAsia Interconnector. When they met again on December 8, 2016 in Jerusalem they reaffirmed their full support for the timely implementation of EuroAsia Interconnector.
The European Commission on February 17, 2017. approved €14.5 million as financial support for final detailed studies prior to Project Implementation. In INEA on April 5, 2017 it was signed grant agreement to finalize the interconnector's design by supporting final detailed pre-works studies.
On May 12, 2017 Beijing meeting the Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras met State Grid Corporation of China Chairman Shu Yinbiao in Beijing and CEO Euroasia Interconnector Nasos Ktorides and had discussions on the jointly promoting of the Belt and Road Initiative and the strengthening of power and energy cooperation. Prime Minister Tsipras expressed his appreciation for the support Mr. Shu Yinbiao has given to the development of Greek grid and the contribution made by State Grid Corporation of China towards the timely implementation of EuroAsia Interconnector.
Idea of Quantum Cable was supported on trilateral meeting of Prime Ministers of Greece Alexis Tsipras, Israel Benjamin Netanyahu and the President of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades, in the Greek city of Thessaloniki on 15. June 2017. They pointed out that EuroAsia Interconnector is strategically important for Greece, upgrading her status into regional electricity and telecom hub.
EuroAsia Interconnector cross border cost allocation is approved by the Energy Regulatory Authorities of Cyprus and Greece on October 10, 2017 and March 21, 2018. It is a historic decision for Cyprus, ending electricity isolation of the last EU member state.
Elia, Belgium’s electricity transmission system operator, announced on December 12, 2017 that it has concluded strategic alliance agreement with the EuroAsia Interconnector for the development and implementation of the 2,000 MW subsea electricity interconnector.
Former Cyprus Foreign Minister (1997—2003, 2013— March 2018) and head of the European Parliament Foreign Affairs Working group, Ioannis Kasoulides, has joined the EuroAsia Interconnector on March 30, 2018 as Chairman of the Strategic Council. Ioannis Kasoulides has received on September 11, 2018 the highest decoration awarded by France – Officer of the Order of the Legion of Honour.
In a speech at the public consultation held at the Hilton Cyprus on Monday, April 2, 2018, Cyprus Energy Minister Yiorgos Lakkotrypis described the project as of particular national geopolitical importance, as it enables Cyprus and Greece to act as bridges of cooperation, linking the eastern Mediterranean with the European Union.
On May 8, 2018. in Nicosia it took place fourth Cyprus-Israel-Greece tripartite meeting. Prime Ministers of Greece Alexis Tsipras, Israel Benjamin Netanyahu and the President of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades reconfirmed their support to timely implementation of EuroAsia Interconnector and Quantum Cable, accompanying fiber optic cable.
The procurement stage of project started February 13, 2018 by notice for construction of Stage 1 with estimated budget €3.5 billion, published in the Official Journal of the European Union. Call for four tenders with estimated budget €3.27 billion was published on April 17, 2018 in the Official Journal of the European Union.
Benefits of EuroAsia Interconnector
- Ends energy isolation of Cyprus and Crete and connect them to European network. Cyprus is last member of EU fully isolated without energy interconnections.
- Ensures secure energy supply of Cyprus, Greece and Israel connecting them with European network
- For new East Mediterranean gas finding enables path towards new markets in form of electricity. Also enables path for electricity produced from renewable energy sources.
- Contributes to EU target for 10% of electricity interconnection between member states.
- Promotes development of renewable energy sources and contributes to the reduction of CO2
- Offers significant economical and geopolitical benefit to 3 countries. It is expected that socio-economic benefit will be around 10 billion €.
Project development company
The interconnector is fully funded by EuroAsia Interconnector Ltd. and European Union. The company headquarters are in Nicosia, Cyprus. EuroAsia Interconnector Ltd. is part of Quantum Corporation and Quantum Energy Group.
- EuroAsia Interconnector Project and Progress
- EuroAsia Interconnector – Official site
Kambas, Michele (2012-01-23). "Cyprus group plans Greece-Israel electricity link". Reuters. Retrieved 2012-03-09.
A Cyprus-based group including Greece's state-controlled power utility PPC said on Monday it planned to lay the world's longest subsea power cable linking Europe and Asia.
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- Second list of PCI
- Third list of PCI
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