Greece, Cyprus, Israel and Italy will sign the terms of agreement for the EastMed natural gas pipeline within 2018, their representatives said in Nicosia on Tuesday.
Energy Ministers Giorgos Stathakis from Greece, Giorgos Lakkotrypis from Cyprus, Yuval Steinitz from Israel and Italy’s ambassador to Cyprus Andrea Cavallari signed a memorandum of understanding for collaboration on the project.
In a joint press release, the four delegates said that the EastMed pipeline will provide a direct long-term export route for Israel and Cyprus to Greece, Italy and other European markets, improving safety for the EU’s energy supply and promoting competition among natural gas producers.
A technical committee of energy ministry general managers from the four countries, set up following the ministerial summit meeting in Tel Aviv on April 3, will continue to meet to discuss the terms of agreement.
The project will be co-financed by the European Union as a Project of Common Interest through the Connecting Europe Facility program.
The pipeline’s underwater (and longest) section will begin in the new natural gas fields in the East Mediterranean, connecting to Cyprus through a 200-km pipeline, then to Crete through a 700-km pipeline, to finally end up on the Peloponnese through a 400-km pipeline.
The overland natural gas pipeline will connect to West Greece (600-km pipeline), and from there to existing pipelines through to Italy and other EU countries. It will also supply natural gas to the domestic market of Cyprus.
The projects foresees transporting 10 billion cubic meters of gas per year initially, with a capacity for 16 Bcm/y.
According to the construction company, the project will be completed in 2025 and is assessed to cost 5 billion euros for the section from the origination point to Greece, and another 1 billion euros for the section from Greece to Italy.