Israel, Greek Cyprus sign electricity deal
JERUSALEM - Agence France-Presse
Greek Cypriot President Christofias (L) gives a pen to Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu to sign a guestbook after a meeting in Nicosia on Feb. 16. AFP photoIsrael and Greek Cyprus signed an accord yesterday to lay an underwater electricity cable between the Mediterranean nations, the first stage in a bid to transfer power between Israel and mainland Europe.
The cable, which the sides hope to complete by 2016, will stretch over the 287 kilometers between Israel and Greek Cyprus at a depth of around 2,000 meters. The so-called “Euro-Asia Interconnect,” with a capacity to transfer 2,000 MW, is “a historic event,” Israel Electric Corporation CEO Yiftach Ron Tal
said at the signing. Additional underwater cables are to connect Greek Cyprus and mainland Europe via Greece, which was also part of the agreement signed in the Jerusalem bureau of Energy and Water Minister Uzi Landau. “Israel will be able to receive backup (electricity) from Greek Cyprus and Europe, and in the future, we will be able to provide them with energy,” Landau said.
Israel and Greek Cyprus have discovered huge offshore natural gas deposits beneath the eastern Mediterranean separating them, and have tentatively discussed cooperation on delivering gas to European and Asian markets. Last month, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held talks in Nicosia with Greek Cypriot leaders on energy cooperation and economic ties.