Power grid operator IPTO has signed a concession agreement with its fully owned subsidiary Ariadne Interconnection detailing their relationship for the Athens-Crete grid interconnection project, energypress sources have informed.
The agreement was prepared with assistance from legal and consulting firms to overcome concerns raised by RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, following a decision by Greek authorities to develop this interconnection as a national project and not as part of the wider EuroAsia project planned to link the Greek, Cypriot and Israeli power grids.
RAE will now assess the concession agreement’s details and make observations, if needed, before procedures commence to bring investors into Ariadne Interconnection for a minority share.
The details of this entry procedure still remain unclear but the energy minister is expected to clarify through related legislation.
One of the ambiguities concerns whether large-scale RES projects on islands will be able to reserve IPTO interconnection capacities.
The Copelouzos group and Terna, for instance, maintain investment plans for Crete. If given the green light by the energy ministry, they will reserve capacities for the Athens-Crete interconnection, provide funds accordingly and be given corresponding stakes in Ariadne Interconnection.
Investors are expected to acquire up to 40 percent of Ariadne Interconnection, according to the IPTO board.
Chinese company SGCC, IPTO’s strategic partner with a 24 percent, has already expressed an interest to acquire a 20 percent stake in Ariadne Interconnection. Other interested parties include European operators, among them Belgium’s Elia and France’s RTE, as well as prominent financial groups possessing major investment portfolios.