Brussels forwards new PCI list, to be finalized late this year

The European Commission’s fifth PCI (Projects of Common Interest) list in the electricity and natural gas sectors, being forwarded for public consultation, features, for now, a number of project additions and removals, compared to the previous edition.

Market officials and state authorities will have the opportunity to offer their views and observations over the consultation procedure’s twelve-week period before the European Commission adopts a finalized version of the fifth PCI list towards the end of 2021, based on an existing Trans-European Networks for Energy (TEN-E) framework, focused on linking the energy infrastructure of EU countries.

PCI projects are entitled to EU funding support. Brussels authorities introduced selection criteria revisions in December, ascertaining, however, that the impact of all projects, especially on CO2 emissions, will be appraised when finalizing the PCI list’s fifth edition.

The provisional list includes a number of electricity and gas sector projects concerning Greece.

Electricity-sector projects involving Greece include: a Bulgarian-Greek grid interconnection, expected to be completed in 2023; an Egyptian-Greek-Libyan grid interconnection headed by Green Power 2020 and scheduled for delivery in 2025; as well as three Egypt-Greece interconnections, two of these featuring Kykladika Meltemia SA as project promoter and expected to be respectively completed in 2025 and 2028, and a third headed by Elica SA and scheduled for completion in 2028.

An energy storage project planned by Eunice for Ptolemaida, northern Greece, and scheduled for completion in 2022 is a new entry on the PCI list.

In the natural gas sector, the PCI list includes: the Alexandroupoli FSRU (2022); a subsea pipeline between Greece and Italy, known as the Poseidon Pipeline (2025); EastMed, a pipeline planned to carry natural gas from the east Mediterranean to European markets, via Crete (2025); a compressor station in Thessaloniki’s Nea Mesimvria area (2022); a metering and regulating station in Megalopoli, Peloponnese (2025); a compressor station in Abelia, in Greece’s mid-north (2023); a compressor station in Kipoi, northeastern Greece (2024); a pipeline link for the Alexandroupoli FSRU (2022); a TAP pipeline capacity increase (2025); and the development of an underground gas storage facility (UGS) in the almost depleted natural gas field of “South Kavala” in northern Greece (2023).

New Africa-Europe interconnection proposed by Green Energy 2020

Paris-based enterprise Green Power 2020 has prepared a new electricity interconnection proposal offering a link between Crete and northern Africa as a solar energy supply route from Africa to Europe. The plan carries similar traits to Desertec, an older plan.

The latest propoosal, referred to as Leg 1, represents a smaller version of Desertec. Green Power 2020 holds a license to develop 2,000 MW of solar power facilities in northern Africa.

Green Power 2020 was established by Gassan Anbar, a co-author and former head of the Med Grid plan, created in 2010 with the aim of transmitting electricity from Africa to Europe.

The Leg 1 project envisages the development of a two-way, 2,000-MW submarine HVDC power cable interconnection that could be upgraded to 7,000 MW.

The interconnection route would start from two points, Tobruk and Sallum, both located along the north African coast. The two lines would converge offshore and run as a single line to Crete over a distance of 347km before being linked with a Crete-Attiki (wider Athens) interconnection.

Green Power 2020 noted that a preliminary plan for the Crete-northern Africa interconnection has been prepared. The project’s budget is estimated at 1.5 billion euros in this plan.

It is anticipated that the project will be classified as an EU Project of Common Interest (PCI), which would facilitate EU funding, energypress sources informed. Green Power 2020 also aims to seek funding from another mechanism, the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF).

IPTO, Greece’s power grid operator, as well as other entitities, including Libya’s energy ministry, the Arab League, Arab Regulators Forum and the Desertec Foundation, are all believed to have backed the ambitious project.

Green Power 2020 appears to have submitted a plan of the interconnection project to Greek authorities, while company officials held business talks in Crete just days ago, according to Cretan daily Patris.