The European Union has earmarked 657 million euros ($736 million) for the construction of a 2,000-megawatt undersea electricity cable that will link the power grids of Israel, Cyprus and Greece.
The news was announced by Cypriot Energy Minister, Natasa Pilides, on Thursday.
Pilides told reporters the funding is Cyprus’ largest-ever investment as well as the lion’s share of the total sum that the EU’s Connecting Europe Facility, which bankrolls infrastructure projects, has allocated to a single project this year.
According to AP News, Pilides said the money enables crews to start constructing the segment of the cable that will connect Cyprus with the Greek island of Crete, whose total cost is estimated at roughly 1.6 billion euros ($1.8 billion).
The President of Cyprus, Nicos Anastasiades, issued a statement on Twitter after the announcement and said that the grant approval was a “landmark decision” by the EU as the cable project will end Cyprus’ energy isolation and connect the Eastern Mediterranean with Europe.
“A project that ensures the energy efficiency of our country and opens the way to the European market, while strengthening our goals for the transition to a green economy,” Anastasiades said.
Pilides and her Greek and Israeli counterparts signed an agreement last October to speed up technical work on the cable dubbed the “Eurasia Interconnector.”
The agreement aimed to expedite permits and approvals for feasibility studies and to help the three countries’ national electricity co-ordinators co-operate on how best to move forward.
The cable’s first phase is expected to be completed by 2025.
Source: AP News.