Crete link project needed fast, Euro MP candidates agree

Crete’s electricity grid interconnection with Athens, a project needed to prevent a looming energy shortage threat on the island, must be swiftly developed, Euro MP candidates representing the Syriza, New Democracy, KINAL and Potami parties agreed at an event staged yesterday by Hellenic Production, an industry roundtable for growth organized by both smaller and larger manufacturing companies and the country’s main regional manufacturing associations.

The party officials also questioned, and even condemned, the European Commission’s insistence in supporting EuroAsia Interconnector – a consortium of Cypriot interests heading a wider PCI-status Greek-Cypriot-Israeli electricity grid interconnection project – for control of the Crete-Athens segment. This persistence has delayed the Cretan project and prompted economic and energy security issues for the island, the Euro MP candidates stressed.

Greek power grid operator IPTO, which chose to withdraw the Crete-Athens segment from the wider project, has been embroiled in a dispute with EuroAsia Interconnector for control of the domestic section.

New Democracy party candidate Maria Spyraki and KINAL’s Eva Kaili both contended that the Crete-Athens interconnection project’s technical specifications, as set by IPTO, will end up sidelining Greek players.

This is burdensome for the Greek econony, Spyraki noted, reminding of the government’s decision for development of the Cretan interconnection as a national project with NSRF funding rather than as a PCI-status project.

All four party representatives agreed energy costs for Greek enterprises need to be reduced. Spyraki, the New Democracy party candidate, referred to a PWC study whose findings show energy costs for Greek industry are 60 percent higher compared to those of European rivals.