European governments and the Israeli administration today pledged full support for the development of the East Med project, designed to transmit natural gas along a route stretching from Israel to Europe.
An objective has been set for the pipeline infrastructure project to be ready by 2025. The East Med project is planned to measure some 2,000 km and connect Israeli and Cypriot natural gas deposits with Greece and possibly Italy. The project’s budget could reach as much as 6 billion euros.
“This is an ambitious project that is clearly supported by the European Commission as it carries tremendous value with regards to supply security and the objective for diversification,” noted the European Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy Miguel Arias Canete.
Following a meeting with the energy ministers of Israel, Cyprus, Greece and Italy, Canete told reporters he believes the East Med project will meet all prerequisites to enable financial commitment.
Israel’s energy minister Yuval Steinitz noted that the pipeline project could be ready by 2025. “But we will try to speed up and shorten this timeline,” Steinitz informed. Asked about Israel’s energy plans, Steinitz responded: “I will develop both pipelines,” referring to East Med and an Israeli-Turkish pipeline.
Elio Ruggeri, CEO of IGI Poseidon, the owner of the East Med project, told Reuters that, according to the current budget, the project is estimated to cost 5 billion euros to reach Greece’s gas network and 6 billion euros to reach the Italian system.
IGI Poseidon is a joint venture formed by DEPA, Greece’s Public Gas Corporation, and Italian energy group Edison.
The energy ministers of all East Med project participants said they plan to meet in Cyprus six months from now to discuss the pipeline’s further development.