The EuroAsia Interconnector, a groundbreaking energy infrastructure project, is poised to revolutionize the electricity markets of Cyprus and Israel. As the world's longest under-sea electricity cable interconnector, this ambitious venture will connect the power grids of the two nations and with Europe, enabling them to exchange electricity and collaborate in addressing energy challenges. With its promise of enhancing energy security, promoting renewable energy integration, and fostering economic growth, the EuroAsia Interconnector stands as a game-changer for both Cyprus and Israel. Energy security is a critical concern for any nation, and the EuroAsia Interconnector is set to bolster it significantly. By linking the power grids of Cyprus and Israel, both countries will gain access to a diversified and interconnected energy network. In times of high demand or unforeseen energy shortages, they can rely on each other for support, reducing the risks associated with potential blackouts or supply disruptions. This enhanced energy interdependence not only reinforces their electricity infrastructure but also fosters stronger bilateral ties, promoting stability and cooperation in the region.
Embracing renewable energy sources is imperative for a sustainable future, and the EuroAsia Interconnector plays a pivotal role in advancing this transition. Cyprus and Israel are blessed with abundant renewable resources, such as solar and wind power. However, the integration of renewable energy into the grid comes with challenges related to intermittency and variability. With the interconnector facilitating cross-border energy flows, surplus renewable energy from one country can be efficiently transferred to the other, optimizing resource utilization and reducing curtailment. This not only bolsters the growth of clean energy production but also helps both nations progress towards their climate goals.
In 2022, the European Union pledged 657 million euros ($732 million) to establish a connection between the electricity networks of Cyprus and Greece. This marks the initial phase of the EuroAsia interconnector project, which aims to eventually link the power grids of Israel, Cyprus, Greece, and Europe. In 2023, Nexans, an expert subsea cable manufacturer and installer, has secured a groundbreaking €1.43 billion turnkey contract for the EuroAsia Interconnector's Greece-Cyprus section, which will connect the power grids of Greece, Israel, and Cyprus. This 525kV High-Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) cable will span 2x900 km, becoming the world's longest and deepest interconnector, crossing the Mediterranean Sea floor at depths exceeding 3,000 meters. Subsea HVDC Mass Impregnated cables will be manufactured in Nexans' facilities in Halden (Norway) and Futtsu (Japan), and will be installed by the state-of-the-art cable laying vessels Nexans Aurora and Nexans Skagerrak.
Figure 1. EuroAsia Interconnector pathway in the Eastern Mediterranean from Israel to Cyprus and then towards Greece.
Once completed, the interconnector project will exchange up to 1,000 MW between the three nations, potentially increasing to 2,000 MW, ending Cyprus' energy isolation and supplying electricity to over 3 million households. It will also enable energy trade between EU and Israel and solar energy surplus transmission from Israel and possibly also Jordan to the European continent. The EuroAsia Interconnector will be the largest interconnector project in history. The first pole connecting Greece and Cyprus is set to be operational in 2028, followed by the second pole in 2029.
The EuroAsia Interconnector's implementation holds immense economic potential for Cyprus and Israel. As a strategic energy project, it attracts substantial investments, creating jobs and stimulating economic activity in both countries. The interconnector opens up new avenues for energy trade and market integration, encouraging private sector participation and competition. Moreover, the reliable and secure energy supply resulting from this collaboration enhances the region's attractiveness to businesses seeking stable operating environments. This heightened energy connectivity can also attract foreign direct investment and foster innovation in the energy sector, positioning Cyprus and Israel as key players in the evolving global energy landscape.
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