Brussels wants Egyptian RES progress to fund Greek link

The European Commission wants to see clear progress in Egypt’s RES development plan before committing to any financial support for the Greek-Egyptian GREGY Interconnector, a 3.5 billion-euro project being promoted by Elica, a subsidiary of the Copelouzos group, reliable sources have informed energypress.

Brussels has informed all parties involved in the GREGY Interconnector of its prerequisite for funding support, the sources noted.

Europe needs green energy, which is why the European Commission is backing Egypt’s electricity interconnection with Greece, but investment plans for the development of RES projects in Egypt need to proceed and this progress should be reflected and confirmed by concrete data, the sources informed.

European officials consider the GREGY Interconnector to be feasible as the cost of green energy in Egypt is much lower and EU demand for low-priced electricity is high.

However, the European Commission is also taking into account Egypt’s slow development of electrified RES projects, totaling just 6 GW, a modest figure given the country’s size and rich solar and wind energy potential. Greece, a far smaller country, has so far amassed almost double the capacity of operating RES facilities, currently offering 10 GW.

Egypt, according to the country’s official energy strategy, plans to develop RES projects with a total capacity of 61 GW by 2035. Brussels will be waiting to see clear signs of this plan’s implementation.


Greek-Egyptian GREGY grid link prospects face crucial period

A Memorandum of Understanding for the entry of Greek power grid operator IPTO into the equity make-up of Elica, a subsidiary of the Copelouzos group established to promote the 3.5 billion-euro Greek-Egyptian GREGY Interconnector, along with a corresponding move expected from the Egyptian operator EETC, undoubtedly represent votes of confidence for the project.

The interest shown by the two operators to become stakeholders in the GREGY Interconnector project boosts its development prospects ahead of an EU announcement, in June, of a shortlist of projects seeking PCI/PMI list inclusion for the next two years.

Three studies crucial to the development of the GREGY Interconnector, promising to transmit green energy to Europe, are planned to be commissioned over the next couple of months.

One of the three studies will focus on technical details, a second will examine the project’s financial aspects, while a third study, a challenging seabed mapping procedure to scan the project’s underwater setting over a distance of 954 kilometers, will take no less than six months to complete. Weather conditions will play a big role in this third study’s duration.

If all goes according to plan, a final investment decision sanctioning the project’s development is expected within 2024.

Full support for GREGY Interconnector’s PCI/PMI bid

The GREGY Interconnector, a 3.5 billion-euro project being promoted by Elica, a subsidiary of the Copelouzos group, to link the Greek and Egyptian grids, is fully backed by the Greek energy ministry, RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, Egypt and Bulgaria, a presentation in Brussels last Friday of European projects seeking PCI/PMI list inclusion has shown.

This Greek-Egyptian grid interconnection, whose cable is planned to cover a 950-km distance, promises to transmit green energy to Europe.

Greece, it has become apparent, favors the development of the GREGY Interconnector over the Eunice Group’s alternate GAP Interconnector for a Greek-Egyptian grid link.

Hundreds of European projects seeking PCI/PMI list inclusion, which will secure EU support funds, were presented at last Friday’s Brussels event, staged by the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Energy.

Support for PCI/PMI list candidate projects by relevant ministries, respective national regulatory authorities, as well as states involved will weigh heavily in the European Commission’s overall assessment.

The GREGY Interconnector should score highly in this department, given the comprehensive support of the project by all parties involved.

Besides official Greek and Egyptian support, the GREGY Interconnector has also received Bulgaria’s backing as it promises to export Egyptian-generated green energy to the country.

Brussels’ shortlist of PCI/PMI projects is expected to be announced in June, while a finalized list should be announced late in the year.


DG Energy initial assessment of PCI/PMI list projects April 21

At least seven prospective interconnections concerning Greece and other major domestic projects for which PCI/PMI list inclusion is being sought by local officials are expected to be assessed by European Commission authorities following this weekend’s Greek Easter break.

These projects are among hundreds of energy infrastructure projects around Europe which related officials hope will be given the green light by Brussels’ Directorate-General for Energy for inclusion onto the PCI/PMI list, promising EU support funds. The list’s coverage was expanded this year to include projects also concerning non-EU countries.

Brussels officials are expected to make an initial assessment of PCI/PMI list candidate projects on April 21 before announcing a short list of candidates in June. A finalized list is scheduled to be announced in November.

As part of the initial assessment procedure, DG Energy officials will hold talks with contractors behind projects as well as government and regulatory officials for related information.

The Greek-Egyptian GREGY Interconnector, a project being promoted by Elica, a subsidiary of the Copelouzos group; an update of the Greek-Italian power grid interconnection, a project involving Greek power grid operator IPTO and Italy’s Terna; the EuroAsia Interconnector, planned to link the Cretan, Cypriot and Israeli electricity grids; an Egyptian-Cretan grid interconnection planned by the Eunice group; development of a crucial power transmission line from Filippoi to Nea Sanda in northern Greece; a pumped-storage station in Amfilohia, northwestern Greece, planned by TERNA Energy; as well as a power grid interconnection upgrade by IPTO between Meliti in northern Greece to Bitola in North Macedonia, are the seven Greek and Greek-related projects for which PCI/PMI list inclusion is being sought.


GAP Interconnector promising additional Greek-Egyptian grid link

The GAP Interconnector project, planned to link Egypt with Greece, via Crete, promises to serve as a further step towards transforming Greece into an exporter of green energy to the rest of Europe, officials of the Eunice Group, heading the project, budgeted at 1.3 billion euros, have highlighted at a news conference.

It represents an additional Greek-Egyptian grid interconnection project, following the GREGY Interconnector, a 3.5 billion-euro project being promoted by Elica, a subsidiary of the Copelouzos group.

The GAP Interconnector project promises to reinforce Greece’s geostrategic role, making it a transmission hub to the rest of Europe for RES-generated electricity from Egypt, Andreas Borgeas, the project’s chief executive and a former California Senator, told journalists.

A feasibility study has already been conducted for the GAP Interconnector, as have oceanographic studies to map the areas concerning the project’s route, the Borgeas informed.

Two cables to offer a 2,000-MW capacity and run from coastal Matruh in Egypt to Crete’s Atherinolakko, a distance of approximately 450 kilometers, will serve as the project’s backbone. Converter stations will be installed at both these locations.

The project, whose subsea cable installations will reach as deep as 4,445 meters off Crete and 3,500 meters off Egypt, was described as “challenging” by Borgeas, the project chief, who added advanced deep-sea cable installation technology is now available.

The aim is to establish a multinational consortium for the GAP Interconnector project and induct, as a first step, the US company McDermott, one of the world’s biggest developers of subsea projects, Borgeas informed. French, Greek and Italian companies are also expected to soon join this consortium, the official added.

The GAP Interconnector project and the GREGY Interconnector are not rival projects but they will compete for points concerning PCI-PMI lists, Borgeas pointed out.

A direct, straight-line connection from Egypt to Crete planned for the GAP Interconnector offers it a comparative advantage as it is shorter and subsequently lower in cost, Borgeas noted, adding the project lies entirely within the boundaries of the Greek-Egyptian exclusive economic zone (EEZ).

It is planned to be complemented by the Southern Aegean Interconnector (SAI), a 1.5 billion-euro project to connect Athens, the Dodecanese islands, and Crete.