Cyclades link project open to non-EU bids, SGCC strategically placed

A revision by IPTO, Greece’s power grid operator, to the terms of an international tender concerning a Cyclades islands interconnection has opened up the process to non-EU firms that have signed government procurement agreements (GPAs) with the World Trade Organization (WTO).

Even so, market officials consider the emergence of bids from companies based in countries such as China, Brazil and India, obvious candidates as a result of the revision, an unlikely prospect given the interest in such projects of China’s SGCC, which acquired a 24 percent stake in IPTO earlier this year.

SGCC’s strategic partersnhip with IPTO is expected to repel bids, including from other Chinese companies specializing in submarine cable interconnections, for this IPTO project and similar upcoming endeavors.

The revised terms concern the second phase of a Cyclades islands interconnection project to link Paros with Naxos and Naxos with Mykonos. The project is budgeted at 42 million euros, not including VAT.

The revision of the tender’s terms includes a deadline extension for offers, now reset for January 12.

IPTO plans to stage a series of tenders for major submarine interconnection projects over the next few years, beginning in 2018, which makes for lucrative prospects.

A third phase of the Cyclades interconnection concerns the development of a link between coastal Lavrio, southeast of Athens, and Syros, budgeted at 150.5 million euros and scheduled for completion in 2022.

Other upcoming interconnection projects planned include a small-scale Cretan interconnection linking Hania with the Peloponnese, budgeted at 322.7 million euros. Its tender is expected to be completed in 2018.

A tender for the large-scale Cretan interconnection, budgeted at 713 million euros, is planned to take place somewhere between 2019 and 2020.

Development of the EurAsia Interconnector, to link the Greek, Cypriot and Israeli grids, budgeted at 3.5 billion euros, is also being pursued.

The agenda also includes the EuroAfrica Interconnector, planned to link the Greek, Cypriot and Egyptian electricity grids. Offiical estimates for this project’s cost have yet to be released, but it should be in the range of the budget calculated for the Euroasia Interconnector. A 320-kilometer submarine crossing whose development is planned to commence in 2019, its budget is estimated at 2.4 billion euros. The Euroasia Interconnector has already been classified as a Project of Common Interest (PCI), enabling EU funding.

Major developments can be expected in the interconnection domain. Without a doubt, SGCC, as IPTO’s strategic partner, has already secured the pole position.