EastMed pipeline could be ready in five years

EastMed pipeline could be ready in five years

EastMed pipeline could be ready in five years

The EastMed pipeline could be in place in five years, Israeli Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz said on Tuesday, describing it as an extremely important project.

The 1,900-kilometre EastMed pipeline, which has been in planning for several years, is intended to provide an alternative gas source for energy-hungry Europe, which is largely dependent on supplies from Russia and the Caucasus region.

“In Israel we have a huge surplus of gas. We have enough to justify not one EastMed pipeline but I think together with Cyprus we can justify even two or three such pipelines,” Steinitz said in an interview with the Cyprus News Agency.

Also on Tuesday, Greek-Italian gas joint venture IGI Poseidon announced it had signed an agreement with the Israel Natural Gas Lines Company to cooperate on building facilities.

"Finally after many years that we missed opportunities, Israel, Cyprus and Greece decided to combine forces together and to help each other’s economic development by all means," Steinitz added.

“This is going to be the longest and deepest subsea gas pipeline in the world and the EU took upon itself the feasibility studies. Already one hundred million euros were invested mainly by the EU. After the coronavirus crisis will be over, hopefully in a few months, half a year, we are going to promote it and to establish it. I hope that five years from now we will have this pipeline in place. I believe that the electricity interconnector might be in place in two or three years time. The EastMed pipeline is a bigger and more expensive project and it will probably take around five years,” he continued.

Greece, Cyprus and Israel aim to reach a final investment decision by 2022 and have the €6 billion pipeline completed by 2025 to help Europe diversify its energy resources.

Greece, Cyprus and Israel sign EuroAsia Interconnector MoU

It is recalled Cyprus, Israel and Greece on Monday signed a EuroAsia Interconnector MoU.

“This is extremely important for us because actually from an energy point of view we are an island like Cyprus. So, the fact that now Greece, Cyprus and Israel agreed to establish an electricity interconnector that will connect Greece to Cyprus and to Israel is extremely important for us," he commented.

The Israeli Minister went on to say that “we have formed in the last decade some kind of alliance between the three democracies of the Eastern Mediterranean, and now we will also have a physical connection. It is so important for us because we decided to rely heavily almost 30% on solar energy in the future.”

When asked about Turkey’s drilling activities in Cyprus’ EEZ, he expressed hope that Ankara will change its attitude and will coordinate its efforts with Greece, Cyprus, Egypt, Israel and all other countries, rather than getting into conflict.

“We are ready to cooperate with Turkey. In the past we even considered with Turkey some gas export from Israel to Turkey. Nothing came out of it, but there were some discussions about it and we would prefer to see Turkey as part of regional cooperation rather as a source of conflict,” he said.

*More on GCT: Nicosia denies report EastMed pipeline could circumvent Cyprus’ EEZ
GCT Team

This article was researched and written by a GCT team member.