Officials meet in Brussels ahead of East Med ministers meeting

A further step towards the prospective East Med pipeline project’s development is expected to be made today when highly ranked Greek, Cypriot, Israeli and Italian officials meet in Brussels for a meeting on the infrastructure plan to link the European market with major Israeli and Cypriot natural gas deposits.

The four countries will be represented at energy ministry secretary general and management levels. Greece will be represented by the energy ministry’s secretary general Mihalis Veriopoulos.

Financial and technical details concerning the pipeline project will be discussed, while the ground will also be prepared for an imminent meeting between the energy ministers of all four nations on the matter. It is being planned to take place in Israel next month.

There has been much talk as to whether the pipeline project is sustainable or not. If developed, the pipeline, to link Israel, Cyprus and Greece all the way to the Italian coast, will rank as the world’s biggest underwater pipeline project.

A plan presented to the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Energy by prospective project contributor IGI Poseidon, a 50-50 DEPA (Public Gas Corporation) and Edison venture, put the project’s cost at approximately 5.7 billion dollars. This amount, considerably less than the initially anticipated amount, is expected to make the project technically and commercially viable.

The focus is now turning to details concerning EU funding, expected to cover a significant part of the project’s cost, and developing the pipeline according to schedule, the aim being to launch its operations in 2021.