Greece Says East Med Pipeline Deal Through Cyprus Coming

FILE - From left, Italian ambassador in Cyprus Andrea Cvallari, Israel's Energy minister Yuval Steinitz, Greece's Energy minister Giorgos Stathakis and Cyprus' energy minister Yiorgos Lakkotrypis signature their agreement after their talks at "Filoxenia" conference center in capital Nicosia, Cyprus, on Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)

Speaking in Cyprus’ capital Nicosia, Greek Energy Minister Giorgos Stathakis said the East Med pipeline deal won’t be scuttled but an agreement would be signed early in 2019 for the project to take gas from Israel, through the island to Greece and then on to Italy.

Speaking to the 6th Energy Symposium, he said the four countries are drafting an agreement for the pipeline he called “a project of strategic importance for Europe, Greece, Cyprus and the wider Eastern Mediterranean,” the Cyprus Mail reported.

“Discussions between the countries involved to go ahead with the implementation of this landmark energy project uniting Israel and Cyprus with Greece and the rest of Europe have matured,” he said.
He said technical teams are working on the language for the draft after Cyprus’ government dismissed speculation the pipeline wouldn’t go ahead with government spokesman Prodromos Prodromou saying, “Results will be announced officially once they have been reached,” without saying when secret terms will be revealed.

The EastMed project is under development by IGI Poseidon, a company equally owned by Depa and Edison International Holding. It has received 35 million euros ($39.74 million) from the European Commission and is designed to initially carry 10 billion cubic meters (bcm) a year from the East Med to Greece, about 1,900 kilometers (1180.6 miles), where it will connect to the Poseidon pipeline to Italy, about 300 kilometers (186.4 miles) although there’s concern whether there’s enough funding or buyers for the gas.

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