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Concern Min. Energy for the potential loss of the €657m subsidy for the Great Sea Interconnector

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    ΑνησυχΙα Υπ. Εν ρεασεδεαπλεα ησειησ €εα Great Sea Interconnector

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    Papanastasiou's concern about possible loss of €657 million subsidy for Great Sea Interconnector – “If the European Commission takes the decision, the project is essentially dead”

    Concerns about the possibility that the European Commission will withdraw the subsidy of €657 million for the Cyprus-Greece electrical interconnection through the < strong>Great Sea Interconnector (GSI), expressed the Minister of Energy Giorgos Papanastasiou after the negative decision of RAEK to start imposing a fee on the Cypriot consumer by January 2025 so that the implementing body, ADMIE, to recover the construction costs of the €1.9 billion project.

    In his statements on the sidelines of the annual General Assembly of the Electricity Market Association, Mr. Papanastasiou said that already after the decision of CERA the European Commission has reactedsaying that CERA's decision may make the project unsustainable. He also said that there were reactions from ADMIE who said that the project is no longer sustainable, which, as he said, he will have to document before CERA, pointing out that “it is only a matter of time before there is a reaction from the Greek Government”.< /p>

    “I, as the Minister of Energy, am more concerned, not the reaction of the implementing body, I am more concerned about the reaction of the European Commission, which offers this €657 million, it is a result of the political decision of the European Commission to connect all the member states electrically so that there is a single electrical network in Europe”, he said and added: “So in such a case if the European Commission takes the decision to withdraw this €657 million, the project essentially dies”.

    For this matter, as he said, he will have a teleconference with the Commission next week.

    Regarding CERA's decisions, Mr. Papanastasiou stated that what makes the difference and for which the discussion is being held is the issue of when the implementing body will recover the capital expenditure.

    < p>“CERA in this decision said that it will not accept the passing on of this cost or any part of it to the Cypriot electricity consumer from January 1, 2025 and did not indicate any other date, meaning that it will insist on this passing on of this fee or that cost when the electric interconnection is operational', which is the end of 2029.

    He emphasized, however, that CERA is an independent institution, it is the regulator and that there are European regulations, so CERA operates as an independent institution in the Republic of Cyprus.

    “The Cypriot Government”, he added, “can position itself in any way it thinks is best for the Cypriot consumer, CERA has made this decision, for now we should all respect it and if there is any difference, ADMIE should submit the documentation to RAEAK and in such a case CERA may change this decision. But we need documentation and not just communicatively saying that the project is unsustainable”.

    In response to a question about whether there were contacts with his Greek counterpart on the matter, which was also raised before the Greek Prime Minister, the Mr. Papanastasiou said that some clarifications were requested from the Greek Minister of Energy and the Deputy Minister of Energy, adding that “they were only clarifying (questions) and not a matter of pressure”.

    Answering what is the cost of burdening the consumer, Mr. Papanastasiou said that an implementing body has indicated a fee for a subsidy from the Cypriot consumer at 6 cents per kilowatt hour.

    “It sounds insignificant, but it should be documented” , he said, adding that when this interconnection is operational at the end of 2029 this fee will increase.” But, he continued, “the benefits when this interconnection is operational will be clearly greater, so it will be completely insignificant the fee that will be charged to the Cypriot consumer”.

    Mr. Papanastasiou also reminded that the Greek Regulatory Authority, RAAEF, has decided the fee that will be applied to the Greek consumer from January 1, 2025 and has also indicate that the Greek consumer accepts to be charged 50% – 50% with the Cypriot consumer instead of 63% with 37%.

    Finally, answering a question when the electricity market will open, Mr. Papanastasiou said that we are entering a trial period, the Transmission System Operator will report Cyprus, end of December 2024 with the aim of going to a normal competitive market in July 2025.

    Source: cyprustimes.com

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