IPTO aiming for Crete-Athens link tender within February

Ariadne Interconnector, Greek power grid operator IPTO’s subsidiary established as an SPV for the development of the Crete-Athens electricity grid interconnection, expects to be ready to launch a tender covering all the project’s segments by the end of February, IPTO officials have informed.

Meanwhile, Euroasia Interconnector, a consortium regarding the Crete-Athens link as part of a wider PCI-status Greek-Cypriot-Israeli electricity grid interconnection project, which it is heading, yesterday finalized its shortlist of candidates for a tender of its own.

RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, appointed IPTO as the project promoter of the Crete-Athens section without approval from Brussels.

It remains to be seen if the Crete-Athens link will retain its PCI status given the dispute between IPTO and Euroasia Interconnector for control of the Crete-Athens segment.

The Greek side appears determined to pursue the Crete-Athens grid link alone as a national project, without third-party endorsements, including from the European Commission.

As the Greek energy ministry sees it, a two-year delay of the project has now been certified as Euroasia Interconnector failed to officially intervene by December 31. According to the ministry, this delay permits  RAE to handle the Crete-Athens grid link as a national project and, if needed, seek its addition onto the new PCI list, facilitating EU funds.

All is still vague, however, as the European Commission has acknowledged that RAE’s decision to place IPTO at the helm of the Crete-Athens grid link project has caused problems for the wider project’s promoter.