Greek power grid operator IPTO reached a preliminary agreement with an Israeli fund facilitating its entry into the equity capital of Euroasia Interconnector, the developer of the Crete-Cyprus grid interconnection, with a share of up to 33 percent, according to confirmed information.
This development seems to have injected new life into the project, which has encountered notable challenges in recent times, namely strict warnings by the European Commission over schedule delays and, even more crucially, the developer’s inability to produce a sound financial plan, an issue that has prompted the Cypriot State to seriously reassess its participation in the project.
Highlighting the urgency of the matter, it should be noted that, based on a contract signed recently by Euroasia Interconnector with Norwegian company Nexans for the construction of a cable for the Crete-Cyprus interconnection, Euroasia Interconnector faces a September 7 deadline for a 50 million-euro payment.
If IPTO’s agreement with the Israeli fund goes ahead, it confirms, on the one hand, Israel’s increased interest in the project, which will potentially interconnect the Greek, Cypriot and Israeli power grids, and, on the other hand, it should provide a solution to the existing financial gap that has generated doubts over the project. IPTO and the Israeli fund’s equity participation in Euroasia Interconnector promises sufficient equity capital for the project, which in turn could facilitate project borrowing from the European Investment Bank, while also formulating a comprehensive financing plan for the project.