IPTO delay may prompt RAE to seek new Crete link contractor

RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, is prepared to take any action needed to quicken the development of an important submarine power interconnection linking Crete with mainland Greece, including the project’s transfer from one contractor to another, according to energypress sources.

The authority believes the project’s contractor, power grid operator IPTO, is dragging its feet for no justified reason. In its most recent ten-year plan, IPTO sets a 2024 completion date for the project, while RAE wants the interconnection finalized within 2021.

Following a recent review of IPTO’s ten-year plan, RAE forwarded a request to the operator in August urging it to conduct deep-sea and environmental surveys as soon as possible.

RAE has sought to have this submarine power interconnection classified as a project of major importance as a result of its prospective pivotal role in the country’s energy network and significance for the national economy.

Frustrated by the delays, RAE may have already taken drastic action but has held back awaiting developments concerning IPTO’s split from parent company PPC, the main power utility, a process that includes an agreement with China’s SGCC (State Grid Corporation of China) to acquire 24 percent of the operator.

“One thing is certain. We will not allow a project that is of national importance and vital for the country’s energy system to just drag on for years. If the operator does not do what it must, then we will take all measures permitted by law,” a RAE official stated, referring to the authority’s intention to have the project transferred to another contractor, if ultimately needed.