Greece and Egypt agreed on Thursday to speed up the implementation of the energy interconnection project between the two countries as the energy crisis sweeps Europe.
In a teleconference between Greece’s Prime Minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis Egypt’s President, Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi it was stressed that energy diversification is of paramount importance given the new landscape created by the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
The teleconference was also attended by the European Investment Bank President Werner Hoyer in Luxembourg.
Mitsotakis stressed that the Greece-Egypt power link will contribute to the diversification of energy sources and roads in Europe and enhance energy security on the European continent.
Στη σημερινή τηλεδιάσκεψη με τον Πρόεδρο της Αραβικής Δημοκρατίας της Αιγύπτου @AlsisiOfficial συζητήσαμε για την υλοποίηση του έργου ηλεκτρικής διασύνδεσης Ελλάδας-Αιγύπτου, το οποίο αποτελεί στρατηγική προτεραιότητα και για τις δύο χώρες. https://t.co/MejS20mCxl pic.twitter.com/KYAasJj6id
— Prime Minister GR (@PrimeministerGR) March 3, 2022
“Greece and Egypt will play an important role in this new environment due to their capabilities and strategic position. We are natural bridges between Europe and Africa,” Mitsotakis said.
The agreement on the electricity interconnection between Greece and Egypt was signed in Athens in October 2021. It is the first power interconnection between Europe and Africa in the South-eastern Mediterranean region.
“(Egypt’s) link to Europe will be Greece,” Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said at the time after talks in Athens with Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi. “We are seeking diversification of energy sources, and Egypt can also become a provider of electricity, which will be produced mainly by the sun.”
The interconnection project between Greece and Egypt will be carried out by ELIKA SA company of the Copelouzos group.
CEO Dimitris Copelouzos told a press briefing on Thursday that “the submarine double cable will follow a 954 km route from the El Sallum area to South Makri, bypassing the Libyan EEZ in order to address the geopolitical challenges in the region”.
He said that the estimated investment is 3.57 billion euros ($3.8 billion) and the cable capacity is 3 GW.
The project, which has been submitted for funding as a project of strategic importance for the EU (PCI), is expected to be ready to be electrified by the beginning of summer 2026 and to transfer “green” energy from RES systems of Egypt. These are wind and solar panels with a total capacity of 61 GW that will be developed by 2035.
Greece in race to reduce energy dependence on Russia
Greece is in a race to reduce energy dependence on Russia following Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said on Tuesday.
Speaking in Parliament, Mitsotakis said: “We cannot rule out attempts by Russia to blackmail. We all realize this… will disrupt global supplies and probably trigger a further rise in (energy) prices.”
As Greece imported 33% of its gas supplies from Russia in January, Athens called on the EU to support member-states and businesses against a further rise in energy costs.
It has also emerged that Greece is in talks with Bulgaria on building a new nuclear power plant on Bulgarian territory to also be used by Greece in order to cover part of its energy needs.