Deliberate Sabotage Disrupts Electrical Interconnection Project in Crete

consumers electricity cable interconnector

In a significant setback to the electrical interconnection project in Crete, the grid operator, ADMIE, has reported an act of sabotage aimed at disrupting the progress of the initiative. The incident occurred on Wednesday and involved deliberate damage to the mechanical installation equipment of the underground cable north of Crete's highway. A complaint has already been filed by the contractor with the local police department.

What makes this incident particularly noteworthy is that it was not a case of theft or unauthorized access to valuable materials. Instead, the perpetrators targeted a specialized machine crucial to the project, which clearly indicates their intention to halt the work rather than profit from the act.

ADMIE sources, while speaking to Kathimerini, clarified that this act of sabotage goes beyond the usual occurrences of theft or vandalism. The damage caused to the machine, on which the cable to be buried is placed, clearly points towards an objective of disrupting and delaying the overall project.

Currently, authorities are examining the extent of the delay caused by this incident. According to ADMIE sources, the setback is likely to result in a delay of a few weeks or possibly even a month. The interconnection project, initially aimed for completion by the end of this year, now faces extended timelines for the final completion and commercial operation, likely pushing back the operational date to mid-2025.

Meanwhile, the Energy Ministry is taking urgent steps to legislate the direct assignment of new production capacity to the Public Power Corporation. This initiative aims to ensure the sufficiency of electricity supply for Crete and the non-interconnected islands during the upcoming summer season. Simultaneously, the ministry aims to secure the necessary approvals from regulatory authorities, as the prior approval for the upgrade and operation of emergency units granted to PPC expired in January 2021.

The adequacy issue in Crete arose due to PPC's decision to withdraw five aging oil units from the island. Additionally, the completion of the interconnection project between Crete and Attica has been postponed by ADMIE to end-2024, with commercial operation now anticipated for mid-2025. ADMIE's study reveals that the removal of these units will create a power deficit of 190 megawatts during the summers of 2024 and 2025. Consequently, the Energy Ministry has taken the decision that PPC will cover this deficit.

As investigations into the act of sabotage continue, authorities are focused on recovering and restoring the damaged equipment as quickly as possible to minimize further delays in the crucial interconnection project in Crete.

Copyright Greekcitytimes 2024