Deals signed for interconnection of Cycladic islands

Contracts for the first stage of an ambitious and long-awaited project to interconnect the Cycladic Islands with mainland Greece, pivotal to the country’s energy strategy, were signed today, twenty years after preliminary research for the project was first conducted.

A host of officials, including the Environment, Energy & Climate Change Deputy Minister Asimakis Papageorgiou, Labor, Social Security and Welfare Minister Yiannis Vroutsis, various energy market officials, as well as foreign embassy representatives, attended the signing ceremony.

The project, budgeted at 240 million euro, stands as a vital part of the country’s effort towards economic growth. Its first stage has been divided up into four parts.

Prysmian has been assigned the task of developing an underwater 150 KV cable interconnection linking seaside Lavrio, in the wider Athens area’s southeast, with the island of Syros, a 108-kilometer distance. The completion date has been set for 22 months from now.

Hellenic Cables has been awarded a project to provide underwater 150KV cable connections linking Syros and Tinos, Mykonos and Paros, as well as setting up a 150KV terminal on Tinos. The delivery date for this part of the project has also been set for 22 months from now.

The third part of the project, awarded to Alstom Grid S.p.A, and also expected 22 months from now, entails the establishment of a 150KV sub-station in Lavrio, outdoor line connections with a 400-KV Extra High Voltage sub-station in Lavrio, as well as the establishment of three 150 KV medium-voltage sub-stations on the islands of Syros, Paros, and Mykonos.

The fourth part of the project, concerning the establishment of a SVC complex –  VAR compensator with a +/- 100 MVAr capacity – on Syros, has been awarded to a joint venture involving the Greek and Swedish divisions of ABB, and is expected in 18 months.

Once completed, the interconnection project promises to offer electricity consumers annual savings of 100 million euro as a result of reduced public service compensation (YKO) costs, Papageorgiou, the deputy energy minister, noted. The surcharge is added to electricity bills to cover the high cost of producing fuel-powered electricity from stations on islands that are not interconnected to the mainland grid. Papageorgiou also noted that the interconnection project would play a key role in Greece’s overall energy strategy, offer supply security, help reduce environmentally hazardous emissions, and attract new investments to the field of electricity production.

The deputy minister also noted that the risk of power outages on Syros, Paros, Tinos, Mykonos, and Naxos would be eliminated for decades to come, which, by extension, would prove beneficial for Greek tourism and the national economy.