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Great Sea Interconnector: Fears that the Commission will “take back” the €657 million

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<p class=Concerns about the loss of the subsidy are expressed by the Minister. Energy after CERA's decision not to charge the Cypriot consumer from January 2025 for the construction of the project

Concerns over the possibility of the European Commission withdrawing the €657 million subsidy for the Cyprus-Greece electrical interconnection through the Great Sea Interconnector (GSI), Energy Minister Giorgos Papanastasiou expressed after the negative decision of CERA as the fee began to be imposed to the Cypriot consumer from January 2025 so that the implementing body, ADMIE, recovers the construction costs of the €1.9 billion project.

In his statements on the sidelines of the Annual General Meeting of the Electricity Market Association, Mr. Papanastasiou said that already after CERA's decision, the European Commission has reacted saying that CERA's decision may make the project unviable. 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 states- electrical members 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”.

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

Regarding the decisions of CERA, Mr. Papanastasiou said that what makes the difference and for which the discussion is being held is the issue of when the implementer will recover the capital expenditure.

“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 with 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 variation ADMIE should submit the documentation to RAEAK and in such a case CERA may change it her the decision. But it needs documentation and not just communicatively saying out loud that the project is unsustainable”.

Answering a question about whether there were contacts with his Greek counterpart on the matter, which was also brought before the Greek Prime Minister, 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 it was not a matter of pressure”.

Answering what is the cost of burdening the consumer, Mr. Papanastasiou said that the 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: KYPE

Source: 24h.com.cy

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