Cyprus, EU launch project to link electricity grids via underwater cable

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Cyprus launched an EU-funded project Friday to link the eastern Mediterranean island to the European electricity grid via an undersea power cable billed as the world’s longest and deepest.

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” as the only member state without any gas or electricity connection.


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The EU’s executive arm, the European Commission, has said the “898 kilometers of undersea cables and maximum sea depth of 3,000 meters will set new world records for a project of this kind.”

Speaking at the launch ceremony, EU Energy Commissioner Kadri Simson said the surge in energy costs sparked by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine earlier this year had underlined the project’s importance.

Simson said it would help Europe diversify its sources of energy and boost its energy security.

“In the current energy crisis, the importance of the project is highlighted more than ever. 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” as “we are now in a position to proceed with the construction phase of the EuroAsia Interconnector,” which also link Israel to the European grid.

The cable will have a capacity of 1,000 megawatts, expandable to 2,000 MW.

Construction is scheduled to 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 at capacities ranging from 120 gigawatt hours in 2027 to 1,000 in 2030, and exceeding 1,800 in 2033.

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