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.