Cyprus on Friday launched an EU-funded project to link the eastern Mediterranean island to the European power grid via an undersea power cable believed to be the longest and deepest in the world.
The European Union has approved 757 million euros ($736 million) in funding for the 1,200 kilometer (750 mile) cable to Greece, which will end the island’s ‘energy isolation’ in as the only Member State without any connection to gas or electricity.
The EU’s executive arm, the European Commission, said “898 kilometers of submarine cables and a maximum sea depth of 3,000 meters will set new world records for a project of this type”.
Speaking at the launch event, EU Energy Commissioner Kadri Simson said the spike in energy costs caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine earlier this year had underlined the importance of the project.
Simson said this would help Europe diversify its energy sources and strengthen its energy security.
“In the current energy crisis, the importance of the project is more than ever underlined. I am deeply convinced that we can weather the storm, but only if we work together,” she said.
Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades said the day was “historic” because “we are now able to continue the construction phase of the EuroAsia Interconnector”, which also connects Israel to the European grid.
The cable will have a capacity of 1,000 megawatts, expandable to 2,000 MW.
Construction should start this year and be completed in 2027, with an operating horizon in the first half of 2028.
Anastasiades said Cyprus could become a net exporter of electricity with capacities ranging from 120 gigawatt hours in 2027 to 1,000 in 2030, and exceeding 1,800 in 2033.
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