Crete link tender designed to overcome any legal complications

A tender being prepared by RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, for Crete’s major-scale electricity grid interconnection with Athens will include terms ensuring the prevention of any legal complications for the procedure, regardless of whether the project will be developed as a national or PCI-status project.

RAE officials have ascertained decisions will soon be reached so that the tender may be launched within May.

The Crete-Athens interconnection is still part of the EU’s PCI list as it was initially incorporated into a wider PCI-status interconnection involving the Greek, Cypriot and Israeli systems. However, Greece’s power grid operator IPTO withdrew the Crete-Athens segment as a result of a dispute with Euroasia Interconnector, a consortium of Cypriot interests heading the wider project, for control of the local segment.

IPTO chief executive Manos Manousakis disclosed yesterday that the operator will seek EU structural funds as it views the Crete-Athens as a national project.

Ariadne Interconnection, a special purpose vehicle established by IPTO for the project, is set to submit an application for EU structural funds, Manousakis noted. The official said he is confident of a favorable response from EU authorities as the Crete-Athens link is a project of major importance for the national economy and will ensure long-term energy security for Crete.

An updated PCI list will be finalized in autumn. Until then, the Crete-Athens link will remain a part of the current PCI catalog. Athens officially informed Brussels of its decision to remove the wider interconnection’s Greek segment on April 12.

The Crete-Athens link will be developed as planned and completed within the final quarter of 2022 if no other delays emerge and the tender is launched this month, IPTO officials have noted.