An important step for the prospect of lifting the energy isolation of Cyprus, characterized the signing of a memorandum of understanding between Cyprus, Greece and Israel on Monday by the Minister of Energy Natasa Pileidou.
Speaking to KYPE, the Minister said that it is very important that Israeli Energy Minister Yuval Steinic will be in Cyprus on Monday to sign the memorandum, as this shows the commitment of the Israeli Government to the EuroAsia Interconnector project. The same applies to Greece, as on behalf of the Hellenic Republic the Memorandum will be signed by the Minister of Energy of the country Costas Skrekas, who will be connected via the internet to sign the memorandum of cooperation.
“The memorandum of cooperation is an important step to move this project much faster and to put an end to the energy isolation of Cyprus,” she said. Πηλείδου.
He added that Cyprus is the last EU member state that is energy isolated and with this project not only the energy interconnection with other countries is achieved, something that increases and strengthens the energy security of Cyprus, but also the country can join. many more Renewable Energy Sources (RES) in its energy mix, due to the stability that such a development will offer to the grid. He also said that the export potential of electricity that will be produced in Cyprus is added, therefore RES are gaining much more investment interest, since they will no longer concern only the consumers of Cyprus.
At the same time, he noted that a lot of work is being done to apply for funding from the European Commission for the project, through the Connecting Europe Facility fund. He said the request should be made around April, so the implementing body is working hard to prepare all the paperwork and planning needed to submit a comprehensive plan to the EU.
He added that on the part of Cyprus the licensing process has been completed and therefore with the securing of funding from the EU, the implementing body will be able to begin construction of the project. The schedule set for the completion of the project is until the beginning of 2025.
In Cairo on Tuesday for the first official meeting of the EastMed Gas Forum
On Tuesday, the Minister of Energy will travel to Cairo for the first official ministerial meeting of the founding members of the regional intergovernmental organization “East Mediterranean Gas Forum” (EMGF), where various issues will be discussed, such as procedures for how this international organization will work and others. important issues, such as which countries can be added as members / observers, but also issues such as the countries that will take over the presidency when the organization is operational.
Mr. Pileidou said that it is an important meeting and that it is important that Cyprus is among the founding members of this organization, so it has the right to express its consent to add any member. He also said that it is very important that both the US and the EU are interested in participating as observers and with financial support, which shows that the international community also attaches particular importance to this organization.
He also said that in the context of this first meeting, the submission of a request from France for its participation as a full member in the organization will be discussed. The United Arab Emirates and Russia have also expressed interest.
The organization includes both Eastern Mediterranean countries and companies operating in the field of natural gas in the region.
A possible rerouting of EastMed may not secure EU funding
Asked about reports regarding the change of route of the EastMed gas pipeline, Ms. Pileidou stated that Cyprus has not been approached on this issue and therefore no discussions have been held on the issue.
However, Ms. Peleidou said such a development would greatly change the original plan submitted to the EU, which has raised funding, which has allowed a number of studies that have already been carried out or are still ongoing.
At the same time, he noted that it should be borne in mind that the European Commission does not intend to continue funding gas projects beyond 2020-21, so projects that have not already been included may not be able to be included.