Swift progress needed for Cretan link, minister supports

There is no time to waste on the Crete-Athens grid interconnection project, while a solution in a dispute between Greek power grid operator IPTO and Cypriot consortium Euroasia Interconnector for control of the project’s development is desirable, the newly appointed energy minister Costis Hatzidakis has supported in comments at an Economist conference in Athens.

These thoughts, supporting swift development of the Cretan link, needed to avoid an energy shortage on the island, were also expressed by the Greek minister to his Cypriot counterpart Giorgos Lakkotrypis on the sidelines of the event, their first meeting since Hatzidakis assumed his post.

IPTO chief executive Manos Manousakis expressed satisfaction over the Greek energy minister’s determination to push ahead with the Cretan grid link.

Euroasia Interconnector, heading a PCI-status Greek-Cypriot-Israeli electricity grid connection project, is seeking control, as provider, of the wider plan’s Greek segment.

The country’s newly elected conservative New Democracy government must still clarify, to the European Commission, whether it supports the inclusion of the entire Greek-Cypriot-Israeli project, or just the Crete-Cyprus-Israel segment, on a new PCI list being prepared by the EU body. The previous Syriza government’s energy ministry supported the latter, taking national control of the domestic Crete-Athens section.

The energy ministry intends to forward a letter, officially expressing its position on the matter, within the next few days, sources have informed.