Work on Crete-Athens grid link nears launch after approvals

The Court of Auditors has approved contracts offered to winning bidders for installation of the Crete-Athens grid interconnection’s four cable segments, enabling the signing of contracts for the one billion-euro project’s biggest stage, budgeted at 615 million euros, probably within the month, energypress sources have informed. Work will then be able to commence.

Prysmian, Nexans and Hellenic Cables-NKT were awarded contracts for the project’s four cable segments. Prysmian secured two of these four contracts.

On another front, the Court of Auditors is expected to approve a contract for the project’s other key stage, the design, supply and installation of two converters and a substation, in June, according to sources.

Siemens – Terna, a member of the GEK TERNA group, submitted an improved bid of 370 million euros late last month to be awarded this contract by power grid operator IPTO’s fully-owned subsidiary Ariadne Interconnection, the project promoter.

The Court of Auditors’ approval of contracts for the project’s four cable segments follows a recent decision by the environment and energy ministry endorsing the 1,000-MW project’s environmental terms.

EU funding for the project through the NSRF (2014 – 2020) is expected to be approved within the next week to ten days, according to reliable sources. This would subsequently also offer IPTO access to bank financing.

Crete link environmental terms, needed for contracts, soon

The energy ministry will publish the environmental terms for Crete’s major-scale grid interconnection with Athens, needed for project contracts, within the first ten days or March, power grid operator IPTO, the project’s promoter, anticipates.

The delivery of these terms will enable the winning bidders for the project’s cable installations, Prysmian, Nexans and Hellenic Cables – NKT, to sign project contracts with the operator, probably two to three weeks later, somewhere between late March and early April.

Meanwhile, appraisals of offers submitted by bidders for project converter stations are believed to be nearing completion. Two consortiums, Terna-Siemens and Mytilineos-General Electric-Nari have submitted offers to the tender for converter stations.

Construction of the major-scale grid interconnection, from Crete to Athens, will be able to commence once the cable and converter station contracts have been signed.

IPTO insists the project will be fully operational in 2023.

Work on Crete’s small-scale grid interconnection with the mainland, from Crete to the southern Peloponnese, is progressing as scheduled, IPTO has informed.

The installation of this segment’s submarine cables, awarded to Prysmian and Hellenic Cables, is scheduled to be completed around November, according to IPTO’s schedule.

This segment involves deep-sea cable installation work at more than 1,000 meters below sea level, an effort said to be unprecedented anywhere in the world.

Swift solution needed for Crete link project’s local resistance

The energy ministry is working to overcome resistance raised by regional authorities in Crete against the installation of a converter station needed for a submarine electricity grid interconnection project to link the island with Athens.

Cretan regional authorities have delivered a negative report on a plan by power grid operator IPTO, the project’s promoter, to install a converter station at Damasta in the Heraklion province.

The ministry needs to resolve the issue in order to issue an environmental permit for the interconnection project. The project’s completion target of 2023 could be threatened if this issue is not swiftly resolved.

A new round of talks involving top-ranked officials at the energy ministry and RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, and Cretan regional authorities could be held during the current week. Alternative solutions and offsetting measures that would compensate locals for any negative impact caused by the project are expected to be discussed.

IPTO appears set to sign an agreement with Prysmian, Nexans and Hellenic Cables – NKT, the winning bidders in a tender for the project’s cables. However, the pending environmental permit is needed.

Technical aspects of bids submitted to another project tender concerning two other converter stations and a substation are currently being assessed. Two consortiums, Terna – Siemens and Mytilineos – General Electric – Nari submitted bids for this tender.

Its next stage, an assessment of financial offers submitted by the aforementioned participants, will be made early in the year, Ariadne, an IPTO subsidiary formed for the Cretan interconnection project, has informed.

Cyclades submarine interconnection enters final stage

The second phase of the Cyclades submarine cable interconnection has entered its final stage with the installation of cables from Evia to Andros and Andros to Tinos set to begin next week.

Italian company Prysmian, awarded the project by power grid operator IPTO, will begin work from Andros, energypress sources informed.

Existing power lines covering these two segments are being upgraded, for a capacity increase, at a cost of 21.2 million euros. Work on the two sections is expected to be completed by the end of this year, according to a contract signed between IPTO and Prysmian.

IPTO and the Italian firm had also collaborated for the Cyclades interconnection project’s first stage, linking coastal Lavrio, southeast of Athens, with Syros.

Just days ago, work was completed on the installation of a submarine cable linking the mainland with the Peloponnese at the Rio-Antirrio crossing. This project was undertaken by a consortium comprising Hellenic Cables and Fulgor.

 

IPTO signs Crete-Peloponnese link contracts, a major energy security step

Power grid operator IPTO has taken a major step in resolving Crete’s energy sufficiency threat feared as of 2020 by signing contracts with four companies, Fulgor, Hellenic Cables, Prysmian Powerlink and Terna, for the development of Crete’s grid interconnection with the Peloponnese.

Energy minister Giorgos Stathakis, who attended the signing ceremony in Kissamos, northwest Crete, described the island’s interconnection project as a historic step that paves the way for Crete’s transformation into a green energy island of minimal environmental impact, while also ensuring energy security and growth prospects for the island.

A European Commission extension for diesel-fired power stations operated on the island by the main power utility PPC expires at the end of 2019.

Ending Crete’s energy isolation by linking the island with the mainland’s grid has been discussed since the 80s, when the required technology and means were not yet available, Stathakis noted, adding conditions have now changed and led to an acceleration of grid interconnections.

The Crete-Peloponnese grid link, expected to be completed in 2020, represents the first step of a wider link, from Crete to Athens, planned to be completed in 2022.

Elsewhere, the first of three grid interconnection stages in the Cyclades has been completed while the other two are said to be making swift progress.

 

Cenergy approves Corinth Pipeworks, Hellenic Cables absorption

Cenergy Holdings SA, a Belgian public limited liability company, has announced that a cross-border merger by absorption by Cenergy Holdings SA of the Greek listed companies Corinth Pipeworks Holdings S.A. and Hellenic Cables S.A. Holdings Société Anonyme, has been approved by the shareholders’ meeting of Cenergy Holdings SA on December 7, 2016 and by the shareholders’ meetings of the two absorbed companies on December 8, 2016.

As a result of the cross-border merger, all assets and liabilities of Corinth Pipeworks Holdings S.A. and Hellenic Cables S.A. Holdings Société Anonyme, will be transferred to Cenergy Holdings SA and all operations of the absorbed companies carried out from August 1,  2016 will be considered, for accounting and tax purposes, as carried out for the account of Cenergy Holdings SA.

As a consideration for the transfer of the assets and liabilities of Corinth Pipeworks Holdings S.A. and Hellenic Cables S.A. Holdings Société Anonyme, the shareholders’ meeting decided to increase the share capital of Cenergy Holdings SA by the amount of EUR 117,830,672.38, in order to increase the total share capital from EUR 61,500 to EUR 117,892,172.38, through the issuance of 190,135,621 shares of Cenergy Holdings SAand bring the total number of shares to 190,162,681 shares.

According to the draft terms of cross-border merger, the exchange ratio of the shares of the companies involved in the cross-border merger, on the basis of the valuation of such companies adopted by the boards of directors of Cenergy Holdings SA, Corinth Pipeworks Holdings S.A. and Hellenic Cables S.A. Holdings Société Anonyme, corresponds to one Cenergy Holdings SA share for:

(i)         1 share ofCorinth Pipeworks Holdings S.A.; and

(ii)        0.447906797228002 share of Hellenic Cables S.A. Holdings Société Anonyme.

Timeline of the completion of the cross border merger

In accordance with the draft terms of cross-border merger, the shareholders of Corinth Pipeworks Holdings S.A. and Hellenic Cables S.A. Holdings Société Anonyme have an option to elect receiving their whole new shares in Cenergy Holdings SA through a custodian other than the Hellenic Central Securities Depository S.A. (AthexCSD), by submitting a special form of declaration. Cenergy Holdings SA announces that, as of the date of this announcement, such election form of declaration has been published on the website of Cenergy Holdings SA (www.cenergyholdings.com) and the absorbed companies (www.cpw.gr and www.cablel.com). The period for exercising the election right has been set as starting from December 8, 2016 and expiring on December 16, 2016.

 

New energy project giant Cenergy eyeing global prospects

Cenergy, a new Viohalko corporate group energy-sector company recently established through a merger deal involving Corinth Pipeworks and Hellenic Cables, faces the challenge of vying for and securing multi-million euro deals amid an extremely competitive environment that nevertheless offers considerable prospects.

The new company established by the merger is worth over 700 million euros in turnover and an operating profit of 63 million euros, based on financial data covering 2015.

The combined strength offered by this merger enables its participants to target major international energy-sector ventures being developed by energy giants. Companies of such stature demand top-grade financial guarantees, advanced technical knowhow and experience to entrust new suppliers.

Through their new partnership, Corinth Pipeworks and Hellenic Cables will be able to vie for larger projects which they would normally not be in a position to take on alone. Their access to better financing deals will also be made easier, while the partners stand as a more attractive and competitive business prospect for major international players.

The development prospects of international interconnection projects over the next few decades stood as a key incentive behind this merger decision. According to forecasts for 2050, the world’s population is expected to reach 9 billion; electricity production will double; demand for interconnection projects in Europe will rise as a result of the region’s energy security policy; while renewable energy and natural gas demand will rise as a result of the international climate change agreement reached in Paris late last year.

Cenergy will focus on projects in Europe, the Mediterranean, Africa and North America. The new company is expected to bid on prospective natural gas projects such as the IGB, TANAP, Turkish Stream, Nord Stream 2, BRUA and Eastmed.  In the electricity sector, projects being eyed by Cenergy include the Greek power grid operator IPTO’s interconnections for Crete and other Greek islands, North Sea interconnections, as well as network development in countries such as the Germany, Norway and the UK.

The two companies involved in the merger already employ 1,900 persons and are expected to hire more personnel.

 

Hellenic Cables strikes deals for German offshore wind farms

Hellenic Cables has secured contracts to supply submarine cables for Borkum Riffgrund 2, a 448-MW offshore German wind farm in the North Sea being constructed by Denmark’s Dong Energy, as well as the Trianel Borkum wind farm, a 200-MW facility, the Greek corporation has announced. Both projects are located off the German island Borkum.

The Borkum Riffgrund 2 project’s total budget amounts to 1.3 billion euros and is located roughly 57 kilometers off the coast. It is expected to provide electricity for over 317,000 households and cut carbon dioxide emissions by 641,000 tons and sulfur dioxide emissions by 15,000 tons.

The electricity transmission systems to be provided by Hellenic Cables, using 155 Kv AC submarine cables, will measure a total length of 24 kilometers. The cables will be manufactured at the corporate group’s Fulgor production facility in Corinth.

Hellenic Cables is nowadays regarded as one of the world’s three or four leading companies in the sector with the expertise to manufacture and supply high-voltage submarine cables for large projects the scale of the wind energy farms in the North Sea. Prysmian, Nexans, and General Electric are other key players in this field.

The potential at Hellenic Cables was boosted by a major investment plan launched by the corporate group in 2011, which focused on the acquisition and upgrade of the Fulgor facility.

The Greek company is among the firms being considered to supply equipment for a gigantic and extremely ambitious project launched by the German Chancellor Angela Merkel that entails the development of twenty offshore wind farms in the North Sea and Baltic Sea with a total capacity of 7,000 MW.

A sum of 29.3 billion euros will be invested in this project. Its offshore wind farms are expected to begin operating by the end of 2019. Merkel’s project has drawn the interest of major investment groups such as Berkshire Hathaway, headed by Warren Buffett.

Hellenic Cables reported a total turnover of 480 million euros for 2015, of which more than 50 percent (282 million euros) concerned exports and supply of cables for projects abroad. The company is striving for its export-related activity to represent two thirds of total revenues. Last year, the company posted an EBITA figure (earnings before interest, taxes and amortization) of 37 million euros following a loss of 10.8 million euros incurred in 2014.