The Egyptian Electricity Transmission Company and Nicosia-based EuroAfrica Interconnector Limited have signed a framework agreement for the construction of the 1,707-km subsea EuroAfrica Interconnector cable which will connect Egypt, Cyprus, and Greece, the promoter of the project, EuroAfrica Interconnector Limited, said in a press release.
The agreement was signed by EuroAfrica Interconnector Limited CEO Nasos Ktorides and Sabah Mohamed Mashal, Chairperson of the Egyptian Electricity Transmission Company.
Also present at the signing ceremony were the Prime Minister of Egypt Moustafa Madbouly, Gaber Dessouky, CEO of the Egyptian Electricity Holding Company, Mohamed Shaker El-Markabi, Minister of Electricity and Renewable Energy, former Cypriot foreign minister, and Chairman of the Strategic Council of the EuroAfrica Interconnector Ioannis Kasoulides.
According to EuroAfrica Interconnector Limited, the signed agreement follows the conclusion of viability studies conducted by this company, which demonstrated the benefits of the project. The agreement also marks the start of the project implementation.
The agreement envisages the construction of the 2,000 MW HVDC cable in two phases. The first phase envisages 1,000 MW cable from Crete to Attica to be operational by 2020, and from Cyprus to Egypt, and from Cyprus to Crete by 2021.
The EuroAfrica Interconnector will start near Damietta in Egypt and take the sub-sea route to Cyprus where it will connect at the Kofinou station. From there it will head west and take a sub-sea route to Korakia point in Crete, Greece and from there continue to Attica, mainland Greece.
The Egypt-Cyprus part is 310 km long, Cyprus-Crete 879 km, and Crete-Attica 329 km.
Greece and Cyprus are involved in another project, for the construction of the 1,518 km subsea EuroAsia Interconnector cable, which will connect the electricity grids of Cyprus, Israel, Crete and Attica in Greece.
First major connection between African and EU grids
Ioannis Kasoulides, Chairman of the Strategic Council of the EuroAfrica Interconnector, said that this historic agreement introduces the first major electricity interconnection project between Africa and Europe.
“Cyprus now becomes a major hub for the transmission of electricity from Africa to Europe, and Egypt establishes itself as a regional energy hub for the transmission of electricity from Africa to the Arabian peninsula,” Kasoulides said adding that this also means the national electricity grid of Egypt will be linked to the European electricity system.
EuroAfrica Interconnector Limited CEO Nasos Ktorides said that as project promoter company is committed to the timely implementation and commissioning of the EuroAfrica Interconnector within the determined timeframe.
The Minister of Electricity Mohamed Shaker El-Markabi said that the project is of great importance to Egypt’s strategic plan for economic development and energy security.
“Egypt will be an important electricity and energy partner for the EU,” he added.